Gasps of delight filled the convention hall as models, decked out in Mali's signature bazin fabric in crimson reds, indigoes and neon greens, strutted the catwalk.
Musicians from across the West African nation provided the soundtrack.
While many Malians, particularly women, sell bazin or tailor clothing from it, the country produces none of the cloth it consumes despite being one of Africa's top growers of cotton.
Instead it imports finished bazin, also called damask, from Germany, Austria, and increasingly China.
Economic growth fell to zero in 2012, dealing a vicious blow to Malians, nearly 78 percent of whom live on less than $2 a day according to the United Nations.
A 2013 French military intervention and subsequent elections have restored a semblance of order, though sporadic violence persists. And as life slowly gets back to normal, Malians are looking to get back to work.
A rapidly growing cottage industry of artisans already hand-dyes the cloth in bright colours and patterns, increasing the sale value by up to 40 percent, Bocoum said.