Milan fashion week celebrates Black designers and their creations

During Milan’s fashion week, a clothing trade show held semi-annually in Milan, (Italy) held in February/March and September/October of each year, several Black designers presented collections in a show aimed at raising awareness of the lack of diversity in the fashion industry.

Unsurprisingly, the five designers are part of the Black Lives Matter in the Italian Fashion group, a name inspired by the international movement leading worldwide protests against racial injustice after the brutal murder of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis in May.

Italian-Haitian fashion designer Stella Jean poses for a picture ahead of the "We Are Made In Italy" Black Lives Matter fashion show at Milan Fashion Week, in Rome, Italy. Image credit REUTERS/Remo Casilli

The “We are Made in Italy” digital event was filmed in Milan’s grand Palazzo Clerici and hosted the 2021 collections of Fabiola Manirakiza, Mokodu Fall, Claudia Gisele Ntsama, Karim Daoudi and Joy Meribe.

The event was a virtual show of the first fashion week since the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.

The five designers were mentored by Italian-Haitian Stella Jean, the only Black member of the Italian fashion council, who is campaigning against racism in the industry to raise awareness and promote diversity.

A model presents a creation during the "We Are Made in Italy" digital show at Milan Fashion Week, organised by the Black Lives Matter in Italian fashion collective, in Milan, Italy, in this still image taken from video released on September 27, 2020. Image credit We Are Made in Italy/Handout via REUTERS

“Made in Italy was represented around the world as being a white concept, now it is no longer like this. The new Italy is not this and does not want to be this,” declared Jean, who is increasingly demanding the sector’s governing body to support Black designers more, and has called on Italian fashion houses to do more to fight racism as well.

“In Italy, we have a racial problem and if we don’t start opening the wound to heal it, the wound will never heal,” she concluded.

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