As a dynamic Dutch-Congolese creative consultant, she is renowned for her expertise in trend forecasting, creative direction, and creative concepts. A proud graduate of the Fontys Academy for Creative Industries, she emerged as a trailblazer from the inaugural cohort of the Trend Research and Concept Development program (International Lifestyle Studies) in Tilburg.
Starting her career at the Vlisco Group, Valene spearheaded trend research for the brand innovation team, working both in Accra and Amsterdam. She also worked in the Creative Office team at de Bijenkorf. As a seasoned creative consultant, her work builds bridges through inclusive storytelling, aiming to create truly divers, social and aesthetically pleasing solutions that resonate with a modern and wide audience.
In 2017, Valene actualised her personal vision with the inception of Libaya, a clothing project rooted in Congolese culture and conveying the empowering message: “the future is female and African.” Collaborating with skilled female tailors, she pioneers sustainable style codes.
Spanning continents from Africa to Europe, Valene cultivated a unique vision for the future of fashion and culture. Recognized as a game-changer by Glamour in 2018, she earned her own column series in the magazine, and her work has been celebrated in prominent fashion media, including Numero Netherlands New Wave of Designers (2020) and a feature as Vogue’s Dutch Hero in the May 2022 issue.
Valene’s cultural insight extends beyond fashion into the broader cultural sector. As a partner at the Amsterdam Public Library, she curates the ‘Anothertable’ collection, exploring the influence of African creatives on global fashion and creative culture. Her contributions to the Fashion Cities Africa exhibition at the Tropenmuseum (2018) and the creation of her installation, ‘Elements of Poetry’ at Fashion For Good museum (2023), underscore her impact in these domains.
Currently crafting her forthcoming book with Uitgeverij Pluim Amsterdam, Valene’s future endeavours focus on creating innovative projects that embrace marginalities, utilising her fashion industry experience to leverage aesthetics for social change, and fostering cross-industry collaborations to shape visionary new worlds.
Valene’s unwavering commitment to bridging boundaries reflects her continuous pursuit of innovation and positive impact. Her inspiring narrative stands as a testament to her transformative influence in the realms of fashion, culture, and beyond.
VOGUE, GLAMOUR, I-D VICE, ELLE, Marie Claire, OKAY AFRICA, VIVA, DESIGN INDABA, COSMOPOLITAN, HET FINANCIEEL DAGBLAG, SIGNATURES MAGAZINE, LINDA MEIDEN, BELLA NAIJA.
PRESENTATIONS & TALKS
VFA Sohohouse Paris / Ten women Amsterdam Accenture innovations awards / Creative women collective / SHERO x the Student Hotel
Connecting cultures – PAKHUIS DE ZWIJGER / Rainmakers foundation / Fashion Cities Africa – Tropenmuseum / British Council in Ghana