Madeleine Laini

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Madeleine is from the capital city of Kinshasa located in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).  Some say it’s the birthplace of Wakanda given it’s thriving tech scene and entrepreneurial endeavors that canvas the country.  It’s a majestic place where whimsical fantasies become reality when sailing down the Congo river which is enveloped by dense tropical rain forest that nearly blocks out most of the sun. Matched to a cacophony of sounds created by chasing waterfalls and the beat of a pounding heart caused by anxiety as you enter uncharted territories.   Moreover, bustling marketplaces are filled with great finds like freshly ground spices that are used to make perfume and artisan-blown glass in nearly every shape and design imaginable.  An African folklore in the present; the DRC as a country is a reflection of lost kingdoms and history and the people are a representation of an endless journey of aspiration and inspiration.

Madeleine is serial entrepreneur who is focused on instilling pride and empowerment in the Congolese people and those of the diaspora.  She looks to address the absence of image diversity in mainstream media, and as a result of her actions she has reshaped the embedded narratives that are portrayed in reporting led by regional and international media outlets.  One of her portfolio companies is an online platform called Congolese and Fabulous which is aimed at promoting positive narratives about the DRC.  Through the celebration of Congolese ancestral heritage, she has become a catalyst for change that has led to a positive outlook for investment & economic growth in her mother country.

Another portfolio company is influential brand and handmade head wear company, Kiyana Wraps.  The company specializes in designs that range from haute couture to traditional looks that can be worn daily.   Born from the Swahili word “Kiyana” which means Beautiful, the company has become a reflection of heritage that embodies grace and exquisite craftsmanship that’s constructed with traditional African methods past down from generation-to-generation.

The third is a manufacturing company which directly exports African products around the world.  In essence, the company solves the last-mile challenges when consumers are looking to purchase authentic and locally sourced products.  As an attribute to its success, the company provides employment opportunities for many that are living in impoverished areas and provide an economic path to a more self-sustaining life for immediate and future generations.

In her own words: “We want our clients to exude the feeling of confidence & beauty – both men and women.  Our products go beyond just the outward appearance.  Each collection is a representation of how our customers internalize strength and confidence in who they are.  It’s with great pride to hold claim to being an award winning company and receiving recognition for our work in Europe and beyond; however, our goal is to create a product that would be traditional, modern and timeless, and act as an extension of values that illustrate one’s uniqueness in a fashionable way. We are a lifestyle brand that transcends cultural differences & race – and I will forever be proud of that!”


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