Diarra Bousso: From Wall Street to Sustainable Fashion Design cover

Diarra Bousso: From Wall Street to Sustainable Fashion Design

Not everyone would leave behind a cushy career on Wall Street to pursue their creative pipe dreams. Then again, not everyone is Diarra Bousso. Today, the Senegal-born, Silicon Valley-based entrepreneur joins us to discuss her remarkable journey from financial trader to founder of DIARRABLU, a sustainable, size-inclusive fashion and lifestyle brand. Using algorithmic design and crowdsourcing to reduce waste, DIARRABLU fuses technology with traditional craftsmanship to promote ethical consumption within the fashion industry.

In today’s episode, Diarra shares the existential crisis and subsequent life-changing decision that led her to quit Wall Street and become a creative entrepreneur. Her work in the fashion industry draws from her upbringing in Senegal, where she developed an appreciation for emotional capital and learned to live sustainably. Diarra lived in Norway before immigrating to the U.S. to start her career on Wall Street, which abruptly ended when she resigned to focus on art and mathematics. As a “creative mathematician,” Diarra attended Standford and developed a successful math curriculum for high schoolers centered on the arts. Her passion for numbers and art culminated in DIARRABLU, where she uses AI and algorithms to create designs and run her business sustainably.

Diarra also discusses the exciting debut of her Medina Collection in Paris, the upcoming physical launch of her fashion line in Nordstrom stores, and the central role her family and remote team have played in her success. Tune into our conversation with Diarra Bousso to hear her thoughts on defying social norms, following your passion, and the profound fulfillment of creative expression.

Diarra Buosso: Key Points From This Episode

  • Diarra's early passion for creativity and her move from Wall Street to art and fashion
  • The inspiration she draws from her Senegalese heritage
  • Why sustainability is inherent to Senegalese culture
  • How familial expectations shaped Diarra’s education and career
  • Founding DIARRABLU, her sustainable and size-inclusive fashion brand
  • How teaching math inspired her to integrate art and mathematics in her designs
  • Her innovative use of AI, algorithms, and storytelling in the design process
  • The Medina Collection and its upcoming debut in Paris
  • The emotional connection Diarra feels toward inherited clothing
  • DIARRABLU's physical launch at Nordstrom this fall
  • The biggest challenges Diarra’s faced in the fashion industry
  • Why support from her family and remote team has been central to her success


“If you love something, you protect it. If you love a dress that somebody gave you, it's not just a dress. There's emotional capital there. I would say we are emotional capitalists where I'm from. You want to nurture it and preserve it.” — Diarra Bousso [0:09:22]

"Within four months, I had 19,000 followers. Mostly 16-year-olds in parts of the world, I don't know. But I felt like a real artist." — Diarra Bousso [0:16:40]

"Sometimes it can be overwhelming because it's like my brain is constantly running algorithms to optimize everything. Some things, you just cannot optimize." — Diarra Bousso [0:26:09]

“I don't think your job is going to be stolen by AI. Your job is going to be stolen by someone who knows how to use AI." — Diarra Bousso [0:28:13]

“Math can be used to make art, and art can be used to teach math." — Diarra Bousso [0:44:23]

Longer Quotes

“Instead of teaching kids how to graph lines, I would ask them to design stripes. And in the process of designing stripes, they need to learn how to graph lines, and then you can learn about parallel lines. Or design a coloring book but with math equations. I started realizing that my way of seeing math was unique, but it actually helped kids connect with math better. On the other side, it literally supercharged my creativity because now I could sit down and write equations and plot something cute. But by changing one number or something, the whole plot changes. It's like, ‘Oh, I can supercharge my creativity with math.’” — Diarra Bousso [0:25:23]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode

Diarra Bousso — https://diarrabousso.com/

Diarra Bousso on LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/diarrabousso/

DIARRABLU — https://diarrablu.com/

DIARRABLU on Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/thediarrablu/

Diarra’s TED Talk: “How to choose clothes for longevity, not the landfill” — https://www.ted.com/talks/diarra_bousso_how_to_choose_clothes_for_longevity_not_the_landfill

NOT REAL ART — https://www.notrealart.com/

First Friday Exhibitions — https://notrealart.com/exhibitions/

Remote Video Series – https://notrealart.com/remote-exploring-public-art/

NOT REAL ART Hotline — 833-668-7325

Scott “Sourdough” Power — https://www.notarealartist.com/

Scott "Sourdough" Power

Scott “Sourdough” Power is the the creator and executive producer of NotRealArt.com. He is also the co-founder of Crewest Studio a digital media company in Los Angeles dedicated to creative culture and the $2T creative economy.