Founders

OUSMANE DABO
STEEVEN KODJIA
IAN MAHINMI
STEEVEN KODJIA
Behind the brand French Deal, there is a man: Steeven Kodjia. Son of Ivorian parents, he was born in 1980, in the suburbs of Paris. As a small child, he observes the grown-ups of his neighborhood dancing in his entrance hall building in Le Bourget. Various influences surround him and transport him, such as his father’s strong and elegant style, his mother and aunts flamboyant colored garments and the powerful creativity of these new dancers. He will take it all in and learn from them. This dance, he discovers then, is hip-hop; and he will make it his own. We are in the middle of the 80’s, hip-hop gives a voice to those who stayed too long in the shade and offers this little boy full of ambition the will to go beyond himself and to see past the limits of his own neighborhood. This is also the infancy of a feeling of belonging that will never leave him.
From hip-hop dancing, this self-made man will draw on two major characteristics, strength and creativity, in order to help him follow a path outside the overrun grounds. It will also teach him precision and perseverance, values he still holds on to with great fervor.

On the eve of the years 2000, Steeven Kodjia, now a professional dancer, knows his ambition must take him further. Thanks to his boldness, at only 22 he will decide to head off to the United States. Another discovery that will be a life-changer. This nation where all dreams come true, will give him the key to access the world of fashion. With hip-hop clothing, business “deals” are made on the streets. This competitive, and at the same time free-spirited atmosphere will remind him of the neighborhoods of his childhood.
French Deal is created from the idea of a bridge between Paris and New York, from this unconventional way of making fashion business, on the streets. With Steeven, instinct leads the way. One must sniff out unique fashion pieces, anticipate future trends in order to satisfy more and more customers. Just like he did when he started dancing, he will take his first steps into the world of fashion on the streets.
As little by little, hip-hop fashion started to change in form and approach, Steeven felt it was time to stop selling other people’s clothes and to move on. His own vision of fashion is yet to be created. Influences from his origins and his own story will help him embody this vision. This professional dancer and entrepreneur will take up this new adventure to become a fashion designer using all of his savings, his unique sense of style and, perhaps a hint of craziness! This novice, owing to his sense of determination, will learn all the aspects of a job he wasn’t predestined for. Yet, from dancing to fashion designing there is only a step, thanks to both sharing a common art, revealed through the expression of body-language. As a former dancer he understands it and will take that step with enthusiasm. Without consideration for the consequences, he will learn from his mistakes and will grow with passion within this challenging new business.

OUSMANE DABO
Born in Laval on February 8th, 1977, Ousmane Dabo is a professional football player who evolved in midfield position between 1995 and 2011.
In France, Italy and England, Ousmane has managed to distinguish himself when playing for world renowned clubs like Monaco, Inter Milan, Lazio Rome and Manchester City.
Trained by the Stade Levallois, the French midfield made his debut in the French national league with the “Stade Rennais” where he stood out as a true leader.

His performance on the field led him to be recruited by the prestigious Italian club Inter Milan in 1998. Transferred to Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio in 2001, he established himself as an indisputable holder. After 3 years defending the colors of the Atalanta team, he joined Lazio, his club of heart. He then played for Manchester City before finishing his football career in the United States.

Ousmane’s 10-year career in Italy has shaped his vision of fashion. It is notably in Milan, a city known worldwide for its creators and luxury brands, that he discovered noble and precious materials and the art of combining colors.

« I found this attention to detail in Steeven’s frst collections.
French Deal represents what I look for in fashion and streetwear: hip hop-inspired pieces combining quality fabrics with original cuts.
I collaborate on the development of the collections by sharing ideas inspired by my trips around the world, especially to New York, London and Milan, my favorite cities. »

IAN MAHINMI
Born in Rouen from a Beninese father and a Jamaican mother on the 5th of November 1986, Ian Mahinmi is a French professional basketball player, center for the NBA team, the Washington Wizards.When he first started, playing with the team from Le Havre, Ian Mahinmi is unknown from the public, but his talent will be recognized by the San Antonio team, the Spurs, when attending a NBA Draft.

Ian is only 19 years old, the Spurs, in order to have him continue his training in Europe, will make an agreement with his actual club so that he stays on 2 more seasons. He joins the Elan Bearnais team from Pau-Orthez in 2006 for one season before signing with the San Antonio Spurs the 23rd of August 2007. In 2010, he will then be transferred to the Dallas team, the Mavericks, where his energy will be praised by his team mates and staff members.

He will play one of the greatest game of his career against the Golden State Warriors in December 2010 with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 1 blocked shot. He then becomes the 2ndFrench player to be consecrated “champion” by the NBA.The 13th of October 2011, Ian will sign again with his initial club during the lock-out period, in-between seasons, before joining the Pacers from Indiana in 2012.
At the end the season 2015-2016, several NBA teams, convinced by his talent, will come looking for him. He will choose to join the Washington Wizards and will sign with them for 4 years.

« Hip hop, streetwear fashion and sports have been with me forever. These cultures are in constant synergy and influence one another.

Today, even as a professional NBA basketball player and member of the Equipe de France, I always keep an eye out for new designers and, am always on the lookout for unusual items. I love bold combinations, my taste is anything but conventional.

The instinctive take on fashion I share with my associates is what enables our creative expression. Joining the French Deal label was a natural choice. »