At the heart of French Deal is its founder, Steeven Kodjia, born in 1980 in the Parisian suburbs to Ivorian parents. From a young age he observed the “big kids” of his neighborhood dancing in the lobby of his building in Le Bourget. From the masculine elegance of his father, to the shimmering colors worn by his mother and aunts, to the creative power of these new dancers, Steeven’s creativity was nourished by his surroundings. Before long, through this new dance, Steeven Kodjia would find a way to make hip-hop his own. In the 80’s hip-hop gave a voice to those who had remained in the shadows for too long, offering this ambitious young boy the impulse to surpass himself and look beyond the limits of his neighborhood. For him, it was also the beginning of a sense of belonging that would never leave him.
As an autodidact, he continued to draw strength and creativity from hip-hop, both major assets allowing him to continue on his course off the beaten track. Along the way he gained strength and learned the power of perseverance, values he still fervently holds today.
At the dawn of the 2000s, having become a professional dancer, Steeven Kodjia knew nevertheless that his ambition called him elsewhere. At just 22 years old, he flew to the United States with the audacity that had come to characterize him. In the second great meeting of his life, this nation of possibility opened the doors of fashion to him. Here, on the streets, the clothes of hip-hop were traded in “deals” emulating the neighbourhoods of Steeven’s childhood, and leading him to rediscover the vibrant and free atmosphere that surrounded his youth.
Not long after, French Deal was born from this bridge between Paris and New York and this unconventional way of looking for fashion in the streets. With Steeven, instinct prevails. You have to sniff out the right parts, anticipate trends. and above all satisfy the ever-increasing number of customers. As with dance, his first steps in fashion were in the streets of the city.
As hip-hop fashion slowly transformed in form and approach, Steeven Kodjia felt it was time to go his own way and stop selling other people’s clothes. He knew his fashion didn’t yet exist, and that his would be the imprint of a multitude of influence unique to his origins and career. With all of his savings, the entrepreneurial dancer embarked on the adventure of becoming a fashion designer, filled with a hint of madness and the desire to express his vision of clothing. This neophyte, by the force of his will, learned the different aspects of a profession for which nothing had predestined him.
However, from dance, itself the art of excellence of the body, to clothing, there is only one step…one Steeven would happily take. Ignoring obstacles, he turned his mistakes into strengths and learned with passion the intricacies of this demanding and codified world.