First of all, its pronounced Six Boo-jee (nooooooot boogies!!!!!). Just wanted to make sure that was clear ;)
Secondly, it should be known that I have a pretty sick obsession with African textiles. It all started five years ago when I first arrived in Senegal, and my subsequent travels through West Africa have only intensified the affliction.....
The story behind "Six Bougies" lies in an iconic African pattern by Vlisco, the most prestigious brand of wax fabric in Africa. Ironically, its printed in Holland. If you didn't know most African fabric was printed abroad, check out this informative article on the topic.
|From Spring 2013.|
Here's the story behind "Six Bougies" pulled from the Vlisco "Stories" website (a really cool feature that gives the background behind historical prints and modern day interpretations in various countries):
In May 1940, a Portuguese trader named Nogueira arrived in Helmond in the Netherlands to order a custom-made Wax Block. He conceived an idea for a design with six spark plugs (bougies), indicating that its wearer had a six-cylinder car, a sign of wealth.
|The original color combo.|
During the Second World War, Vlisco was unable to carry out production operations, but numerous trial productions with ‘Six Bougies’ were conducted. After the war, this supply of fabric constituted the first shipment to the fully dried-up Congolese market, and it appears to have been an immediate success.
But the design also took on a different popular meaning: the woman in the middle is strong enough to take on six men.I love that wax prints tell a story, and I particularly love that this story is about a woman strong enough to take on six men ;)
Its no secret I'm a big fan of female empowerment.
Also, six happens to be my lucky number.
And I speak French.
Lo and behold, the blog and brand name "Six Bougies" was born. Voila!