African designers open Milan Fashion Week

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(L-R) Karim Daoudi, Mokodu, Claudia, Frida and Meribe

Five African-born designers have opened the Milan Fashion Week, a first for Italy’s most prestigious couture show.

The co-founder of the collective “Made in Italy”, Michelle Ngonmo, called the event, which was pre-recorded because of the coronavirus pandemic, a first step towards a more equal society.

She acknowledged the debt owed to the Black Lives Matter movement, but said the five designers she had picked had demonstrated that the “Made in Italy” label was not a question of skin colour but of know-how.

The five – Fabiola Manirakiza from Burundi, Claudia Gisele Ntsama from Cameroon, the Senegalese Mokodu Fall, Joy Meribe of Nigeria and the Moroccan Karim Daoudi – all learnt some of their skills in Africa but are now naturalised Italian citizens.

Previously, the presentation of the collections of black designers was confined to Afro Fashion Week, which launched in Milan with a show in 2016.

Ms Ngonmo was featured on the BBC’s documentary Being Black in Italy. (BBC)

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