CLARA LAWSON- Transforming the Faso Dan Fani fabric


Born in Lome, Togo, Ms. Lawson Ames, studied in France, and received her business management and marketing training in Paris. Her journey to
becoming a global businesswoman included working for Air Africa, and Sabena Airlines in international sales before she followed her passion and founded Clara Design. Her success as a renowned fashion designer has earned her the African Diamond Award, “the Oscar of fashion design,” in South Africa. Additionally, she was granted the Biz Africa Award, conferred by the World Confederation of Business. This honor recognizes small business owners who have made a significant impact on an international level. Ms. Lawson Ames was recognized for transforming cotton into the beautiful designs that are now part of the Clara Collection.

Inspired by her grandmother’s passion for turning ordinary fabrics into classy elegant creations, Clara Lawson Ames, of BurkIna Faso, has built on this legacy of fashion design, and in doing so, has won international acclaim across Africa and abroad. She founded Clara Design in 1989, and is now bringing her haute couture clothing to the United States, through Clara Design, LLC, USA. Ms. Lawson Ames is also the founder and president of the non-profit Association for Supporting the Development of Art Dressing and Textiles, Africa (ASDAVTA). Through this organization, Ms. Lawson Ames is bringing a greater awareness and appreciation for African culture and design to the forefront, as well as providing a venue where emerging African fashion designers and textile artisans can showcase their own creations.

In each of her haute couture creations, Ms. Lawson Ames combines the rich fabrics of Vlisco, the Faso Dan Fani fabric, which is unique to the country of Burkina Faso, and silk to produce what she terms, “the new face of Africa.” By transforming the Faso Dan Fani fabric of Burkina Faso into exquisite designs, Ms. Lawson Ames has made a significant impact on the economic development of Burkina Faso.


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