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Africa-Born ‘Fab Five’ Designers Open Milan Fashion Week

Thanks to the advance of the Black Lives Matter movement, the fashion world is taking steps to address its history of racism.  Most recently, Milan Fashion Week was launched by a virtual show entitled ‘We Are Made in Italy,’ which promoted 5 talents of African origin, who have struggled to have a voice in Italian fashion. Joy Meribe, a 43-year-old designer who was born in Nigeria, references to African culture and style through patterns, yet they are influenced by Western fashion. Born in Cameroon, 29-year-old Gisele Claudia Ntsama creates artisanal one-of-a-kind pieces with hemp textiles. Fabiola Manirakiza is a 50-year-old designer who was born in Burundi, she founded her label Frida Kiza in Italy and describes her designs as a “mix between Africa and Italy.” Morocco-born Karim Daoudi picked up the local craft and created his collection of high heel sandals and boots after working with companies like Chanel and Hermes. Mokodu Fall is a designer born in Senegal who also brings his African identity into his creations. The 45-year-old artist worked as a cartoonist, actor, painter and now a designer of up-cycled garments. His textiles are hand-painted with African-inspired images.