The Fab 5
Making Italian Fashion History
On the first day of the fall 2020 Milan Fashion Week, the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana announced a new initiative dedicated to the theme of inclusion. The Fab Five: We Are Made in Italy is curated by designer Stella Jean, Edward Buchanan, the stylist and creative director of the brand Sansovino6, and Michelle Francine Ngonmo, founder of the Afro Fashion Association, with the support of Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana and in collaboration with five Black fashion professionals, Veronica Costanza Ward, Celia Sears, Angelica Pesarini and Jordan Anderson.
In February 2021, during the next edition of Milan Fashion Week, the five chosen brands led by designers of African origin exhibited their FW 2021/22 collections on the international stage as an official Milan Fashion Week Event. These “Fab 5” are Joy Meribe, Karim Daoudi, Claudia Gisèle Ntsama, Fabiola Manirakiza’s brand Frida-Kiza, and Pape Mocodou Fall’s brand Mokodu. All collections are available for preorder via the Afro Fashion Online Showroom!
We Are Made in Italy: il progetto per l’inclusività alla Milano Fashion Week
In Harper’s Bazaar
Leggi l’articolo (in italiano)
Meet The New Wave Of Diverse Talent Shaking Up Milan Fashion Week
By Scarlett Conlon in Vogue UK
We Are Made in Italy:
Digital fashion show highlights Italian diversity
By Jess Cartner-Morley in The Guardian
Coverage of the We are Made in Italy digital fashion show and plans for reform in the Italian fashion industry.
… and much more. View the Fab Five press from Milan Fashion Week SS-2021.
Meet the designers
Born in Cameroon Claudia Gisèle Ntsama studied fashion in her homeland and moved to Italy to attend the Fashion Design course at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna, after a three-year degree in fashion design, she continued with the specialist course and during the fifth year , with the ERASMUS project she attended the “Haute ecole des arts du Rhin” in Strasbourg as a textile designer. During her studies in Italy Claudia kept doing the humblest jobs, in order to afford for herself the insights that have always fascinated her in the textile world. Her style is inspired by the world of contemporary art and Asian fashion (Watanabe and Yamamoto are her favorite designers). She loves designing fabrics for clothing and fashion in general.
Fabiola Manirakiza, originally from Burundi, moved to Italy as a young girl with her family, she has lived in the Marche since 1990. The culture and art of her host land exert a strong influence on her. Trained as a doctor, she decided to undertake studies in the field of fashion that led her to attend specific courses in fashion schools abroad. Returning to Italy, after some work experiences in companies in the sector, she begins to create clothes for herself and for her circle of friends. The feedback is incredibly positive, hence the idea in 2016 in founding the FRIDA-KIZA brand.
Joy Ijeoma Meribe was born in Nigeria. After graduating in Foreign Languages and Literatures in 2003 she moved to Italy and specialized in cultural / linguistic mediation, later obtaining a Master’s degree in International Business Studies in Reggio Emilia. Long passionate about fashion design, she attended a fashion school connected to the Istituto Burgo circuit in Modena and Bologna while continuing her other professional activities. In 2017 she launched her brand, which she defines as “Afropolitan Made in Italy,” and created her first collection.
Born in Morocco, Karim Daoudi is a young designer who lives in San Mauro Pascoli, works at a company in the footwear sector. To broaden his skills, he studied for a course as a shoe modeling technician, on a module dedicated to technical design and modeling at Cercal. For his creations, he mixes different materials and sewing techniques, taking care of elegance and safeguarding functionality. In 2017 he won the “Fashion Young Stylists CNA Federmoda Roma” contest and participated in The One Milano event. In 2018 he arrived was at Milano Unica with the style office of the Cercal School, for the production and design of samples and in 2019 he took part in the “Fashion Graduate Italia” show.
Pape Macodou Fall, alias Mokodu, is a Senegalese artist and fashion designer based in Rome. Born into a family of diplomats, he made his debut at a very young age as a cartoonist. In Italy he initially worked as an actor and film producer. H cultivate a passion for figurative painting and portraiture by focusing on the iconic figures of the African Renaissance. His works have been exhibited in various countries: at the Art Fair Paris, at the Biennail Contempory Art and Culture in Rome and at the Dak’art Biennale in Dakar. In 2017, the meeting with the founder of the Afro Fashion Association gave him an opportunity to enter the world of fashion; the following year, in 2018, Mokodu launched its first “Jardin de l’amour” collection.