Women’s Fashion Week Autumn-Winter 21-22 started in Milan, and the “Black Lives Matter in Italian Fashion” movement, created in 2020, is making a big comeback this year by showcasing five talented black designers. Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons will seek to redefine the “raison d’être” of the house of Prada.
Milan’s Women’s Fashion Week, which began on Tuesday, February 23, and ends on March 1, will feature 61 shows, most of them virtually due to the health situation.
The majority of the big names in Italian fashion have answered the call, and so will runway shows by Fendi, Valentino, Prada, Giorgio Armani, and Dolce & Gabbana, to present their fall-winter 21-22 collections.
One of the most eagerly awaited shows of this Milanese fashion week is the Prada fashion show, the stakes of which were raised during a conversation between Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, digging into the identity of the brand to define its purpose.
Indeed, on Thursday, February 25, designers Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada will present their first fall-winter women’s clothing collection as co-creators of the Prada brand. This is their third collection since the official start of their collaboration last April.
Miuccia Prada is delighted with their collaboration: “These are all thoughts he brought. The idea of community. The idea of defining Prada, which I think is very welcome. I think that in this moment of confusion, we need to be more precise. You have to be more direct in what you want to say. I think it’s very, very important to define the purpose of Prada; what are the things that really matter to Prada right now?”
This season, the Black Lives Matter in Italian Fashion collective will open the festivities. The organization was able to participate for the first time in the Milan Fashion Week in September 2020, after the release of a powerful video “We are made in Italy“.
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Anti-racism activist Michelle Ngonmo founded Afro Fashion Week in 2015, a more inclusive alternative to the annual Fashion Week. The co-founder of the collective alongside designers Stella Jean and Edward Buchanan, explains that in Italy, nearly 450 black fashion designers “felt discriminated against for their skin color, many of them emigrated, to London, Paris or Beijing“.
“It’s exceptional, it’s a very strong signal from the Italian Fashion Chamber. We are going to set the trend,” continues Michelle Ngonmo. “It was a tough battle” leading to “overcoming the Chamber’s reluctance to make it easier for us to attend Fashion Week. Now the House is ready to listen to us“.
“For five years we have come up against a wall of silence by knocking on the door of the House, but now we are an integral part of it, without losing our identity“, explains Michelle. President Carlo Capasa of the Italian Fashion Chamber explains that they help black designers living in Italy “to realize their collections in a difficult moment“.
The organization partly finances their collections and puts them in contact with textile or shoe companies that give them discounts. “We are part of Made in Italy, we produce in Italy, not in Africa,” concludes Michelle Ngonmo.
Featured Photo : © Modaf Designs
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