Nelly Wandji: Stories of creation


In the heart of Paris—a city known as the capital of contemporary design, fashion, and art—Nelly Wandji’s Cabinet de Curiosités was a concept store dedicated to made-in-Africa luxury items.

“It was unbelievable that a city like Paris was lacking a place that could represent high-quality African creations and promote that esthetic,” says Wandji, an entrepreneur of Cameroonian origin.

A pilot concept

In 2014, Wandji created Moonlook, a digital platform aiming to promote the work of designers from Africa or of African descent. Very soon after, the success of a number of pop-up shops confirmed what Nelly had suspected: Paris was ready for high-end African design.

In light of this market demand, the idea took hold for a permanent physical site: a culturally vibrant location where select brands would be able to showcase their collections. And that’s just what she created. In Paris, at 93 rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré, Le Cabinet de Curiosités offered a simple setting for brands that Nelly had chosen to support. The décor was purposely stripped-down in order to more effectively show off the merchandise.

By Françoise Diboussi

The full article is available in the 3rd issue of MOYI.