CULTURE: Democratize the African “Wax” fabric


Elsa Fregiste asserts herself as a designer of fashion accessories, bags, clutches... embroidered with mainly fabric called wax, but not only. She has been based in Saint-Martin since 2019. 

Born in Côte d'Ivoire to parents of multiple origins, she defines herself as an “Afro-Caribbean”. It was in Africa that she discovered this traditional fabric, wax, which is now at the center of her business and creations. "I always knew I wanted to do something with this fabric," she says.

However, it was not by sewing that she began in 2007. While a student, she made jewelry in wood and fabric before devoting herself fully to her studies. A graduate in architecture, she worked as an architect and graphic designer in Mayotte where she lived for eight years.

In 2016, she started sewing. Her first pieces appeal to the Mahorais, but she is still far from thinking about her future baby ChokoKanel who will be born in 2020. The choice of name has no connection with the luxury brand, she specifies. It simply translates the adoration and the mixture of chocolate and cinnamon.

She aims to "democratize the wax", make this fabric accessible to all, take away its traditional side. She gets her supplies between Africa and Europe, she is very demanding about the quality of her products,  which is "important" so that it can go through a long time. 

Today Elsa works alone at home. She is a free woman in her art and her creations. In order to develop further, it is preparing the release of its website. (

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