At the beginning of French Deal, there is a man: Steeven Kodjia. He was born from Ivorian parents in 1980, in the suburbs of Paris. Yet a little boy, 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 grow 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, hiphop gives a voice to those who stayed too long in the shadows and offers this little boy full of ambition the will to go beyond oneself 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 on. 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 off 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, off 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 in the streets.
Little by little, hip-hop clothing change, shapes but also how people see it. Steeven wants to stop selling other people’s clothes and 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 becoming a fashion designer using all of his economies, his unique sense of style and a hint of craziness. This neophyte, due to a great sense of determination, will learn all the aspects of a job he wasn’t predestine for. Yet, from dancing to fashion designing there is only a step, thanks to sharing a common art revealed through the expression of the body. As a former dancer he understands it and will take that step merrily. Without consideration for the consequences, he will learn from his mistakes and will grow with passion within this challenging new business.