Five stylists from the Black Lives Matter in Italian Fashion collective will open Milan Women’s Fashion Week with their fall-winter 2021/22 collection, scheduled from February 23 to March 1, a largely virtual event due to the pandemic. The project was launched during the last Milanese Fashion Week in September, where it was relegated to the end of the event. This season constitutes the first element of the program of shows that begin on February 24, positioning itself just after the tribute paid to Beppe Modenese, the former president of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion (CNMI), who died in November.

“This is exceptional, it is a sign of strength of the Italian Fashion Chamber. We are the ones who will set the trend,” Michelle Ngonmo, co-founder of the collective, together with designers Stella Jean and Edward Buchanan, told AFP. However, it has been a tough battle before we could overcome the first attitude of reluctance of the Chamber to facilitate access to Fashion Week. Now, the Chamber is ready to listen to us, “she assured.

This season the same five designers who presented their collection in September are parading. These are: the Cameroonian Joy Ijeoma Meribe, with her Modaf Designs brand, the Moroccan Karim Daoudi, Claudia Gisèle Ntsama, originally from Nigeria and her Gisfab brand, Fabiola Manirakiza, from Burundi, founder of the Frida-Kiza house and the Senegalese Pape Mocodou Fall, aka Mokodu, the name he gave his brand. They will show their work again through a video, titled as before, We are made in Italy – The Fab Five Bridges Builders.

“Italy has 450 black designers who felt discriminated against because of the color of their skin. Many of them have emigrated to London, Paris or Beijing, “says Michelle Ngonmo. In 2015, this Cameroonian-born activist founded Afro Fashion Week, which is organized once a year in Milan.

“For five years we ran into a wall of silence by knocking on the door of the Chamber, but now we are an integral part of it, without losing our identity,” she said.

“We are part of Made in Italy, we produce in Italy, not in Africa,” she emphasized.

“Now, the Italian Fashion Chamber (CNMI) is helping designers of immigrant origin living in Italy to make their collections at a difficult time,” its president, Carlo Capasa, told the press. The organization partially finances their collections and puts them in contact with textile or footwear companies that provide discounts for the material they need.

 

Source: Fashion Network