Stella Jean quits Milan Fashion Week over lack of inclusion
The only Black designer belonging to Italy’s fashion chamber has withdrawn from this month’s Milan Fashion Week, alleging a lack of support for diversity and inclusion after the chamber “abandoned” a project to promote young designers of color working in Italy.
Italy: Teen in hijab aims to be 'Afro-influencer' on TikTok
Aida Diouf Mbengue, 19, was recording a TikTok video to share with her 330,000 followers. Nearly one-fifth of those foreigners come from African countries, including Mbengue, She came to Italy from Kaolack, Senegal, with her family at age 3. But she says she started receiving racist messages once she started posting videos of herself in a hijab. Mbengue started making content for TikTok, a video-sharing social networking platform, on a whim in 2019 with a simple video. "Fortunately, this is the new face of Italy and we are not going back,'' Jean said.
5 Africa-born designers open digital Milan Fashion Week
Fashion designer Fabiola Manirakiza, center, poses with models at the end of the Black Lives Matter Fall/Winter 2021/22 collective fashion show, presented in Milan, Italy, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. “When I told friends in Cameroon that I wanted to travel to Italy to become a fashion designer, they said, ‘Why are you going to study fashion. What Italian fashion house is going to hire you? No and no and no!”AdThe designers, dubbed “the Fab Five,” are the first crop of creators nurtured through a collaboration between the National Chamber of Italian Fashion and the Black Lives Matter in Italian Fashion movement. Italian-Haitian designer Stella Jean, Milan-based African American designer Edward Buchanan and Afro Fashion Week Milano founder Michelle Ngonmo launched the movement last summer..
BLM in Italian Fashion campaign shows early tangible results
A digital runway show by five Italian fashion designers of African origin opens Milan Fashion Week on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2020, one tangible result of a campaign launched last summer by the only Black Italian designer belonging to the Italian fashion chamber. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, file)MILAN – A digital runway show by five Italian fashion designers of African origin opens Milan Fashion Week on Wednesday, one tangible result of a campaign launched last summer by the only Black Italian designer belonging to the Milan fashion chamber. “When you want to do something, you can do them immediately,’’ said Jean, one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter in Italian Fashion campaign. The collaboration with the Italian fashion council will continue in September, when five new designers from Italy’s minority communities will be featured during fashion week. AdSteele said Black designers are also under-represented in the United States, despite the role that Black culture has had on inspiring fashion there.
Milan fashion gives small opening to Black Lives Matter
Models wear creations part of the Joy 2021 women's spring-summer collection at the "We are Made in Italy - Black Lives Matter in Italian fashion Collection" event during the Milan's fashion week in Milan, Italy, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. Five African-born designers in Italy want to put that view to rest with their inclusion on the official Milan Fashion Week calendar Sunday. The official Black Lives Matter in Italian fashion event is a first step in a process that Stella Jean, the only Black designer belonging to Italy’s prestigious fashion council, hopes will bring real diversity to the creative and decision-making centers of Italian fashion to combat racism in the industry. The head of Italy’s fashion council, Carlo Capasa, called the meeting ‘’interesting and instructive,’’ and that the brand representatives were there to mostly listen. The participants in the Black Lives Matter event have worked in other trades or professions before following their fashion dreams.
Milan Fashion Week to include Black Lives Matter event
The Italian fashion councils only Black designer has hailed as a breakthrough the inclusion of a Black Lives Matters event to the official September show calendar and the formation of a working group aimed at ending racial discrimination in Italian fashion. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)MILAN The Italian fashion councils only Black designer has hailed as a breakthrough the inclusion of a Black Lives Matter event to the official September show calendar and the formation of a working group aimed at ending racial discrimination in Italian fashion. She and other Black creatives in Italian fashion pushed for greater substance. Five Black-led Italian brands, discovered by the founder of the independent AFRO Fashion Week Milano, will make a digital presentation during the hybrid physical-digital Milan Fashion Week from Sept. 23-28, the national fashion chamber announced Thursday. Italian Fashion shall no longer hide behind excuses and justifications that point the conversation to other countries, Jean said.
Black creatives in Italian fashion demand cultural reform
Fashion designer Stella Jean talks during an interview with the Associated Press, in Rome, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)MILAN The only Black designer belonging to Italys influential fashion council is demanding a "long overdue cultural reform from her colleagues under the slogan: Do Black Lives Matter in Italy? A frequent refrain from Black creatives in Italian fashion is that they are often the only person of color in the workplace. Stella chafes at the Africa Hub, which promoted five brands during Milan Fashion Week in February. While she won't show in September, she has asked Capasa to host a Black Lives Matter event to kick off "the immediate launch of a long-overdue fashion cultural reform.''