Back in August, Italian-Black designer Stella Jean penned a letter and created a video that called out Milan Fashion Week and Nazionale della Moda Italiana (the Italian Chamber of Fashion) for the little inclusion of Black designers at fashion week, leading her to ask the question: Do Black lives matter in Italian fashion? As a result of the video which gained over 11,000 views, it was later announced that five Italian Black designers will show during Milan Fashion Week.
With the help of Stella Jean, Sansovino designer Edward Buchanan, and Milan’s Afro Fashion Week founder Michelle Ngonmo, “We are Made in Italy” was created for the five designers to showcase their talents under Milan Fashion Week’s very first spot dedicated to Black Italian designers. Under the mentorship of Stella Jean, the designers selected for “We are Made in Italy” included Frida Kiza, Mokodu Fall, Giselle Claudia Ntsama of Gisfab Design, Karim Daoudi, and Joy I. Meribe of Modaf Designs.
Stella Jean expressed, “To the Italian brands and the Italian magazines committed to saving the world from racial inequality while claiming total solidarity by posting black squares and supportive quips: I am aware that these creatives who have been at your doorsteps since a long time ago are probably not profitable at the media level, given they are part of the ‘Untold Made in Italy’, which is not quite glamorous enough for promotional usage. But they too deserve an opportunity free of opportunism…don’t you think?“