Lamine Badian Kouyate was born in Barnako, Mali, in December 1962. He was the 5th out of 6 sons to a Senegalese minister. His mother was a doctor. As a teenager, he went to Dakar and studied at the School of Fine Arts. He then moved to Strasbourg, in France, to study architecture.
After graduating, he decided he would rather design clothes than buildings, so in 1989 he set up a boutique in the fashionable area of Paris, Les Halles which he called XULY BET. This means "someone with his eyes open to see through appearances."
In the beginning, he turned clothes bought in the second-hand market into elegant and sexy outfits. Even though now he no longer uses old rags, his creative attitude has remained the same. He is known for sensuality, second-skin aspect and over-layering. His clothes are easy to recognize because of his signature red thread and visible seams. His label is always on the outside.
Xuly Bet is now present all over the world, France, the U.K., Scandinavia, the United States, Japan, Brazil and of course African countries. Galeries Lafayette, the famous Paris store, showcases his clothing.
He calls his workshop the Funkin Fashion Factory. He shows his collections every season during Paris Fashion Week and the shows are filled with his thrift-shop finds reworked in his own style. He uses hand macramé and crochet in his gowns and sweaters. His African roots mix with Parisian streetstyle influences.