African style makes debut at Paris Haute Couture week

PARIS (Reuters) – Cameroonian designer Imane Ayissi blended European style with African flair for a catwalk selection that marked the to start with time a designer from sub-Saharan Africa experienced joined the Paris haute couture vogue week.

Designer Imane Ayissi seems with versions at the close of his Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2020 assortment exhibit in Paris, France January 23, 2020. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

“It’s an honor”, Ayissi, 51, told Reuters backstage just before the display, referring to the decision, following many yrs of knocking him back again, to eventually acknowledge him to the pick out club of haute couture trend properties showing in Paris.

“I have been combating for 28 a long time, committed all my life to the perform. The French Federation of Haute Couture and Trend opened its door to me just after it turned down my application a lot of occasions, due to the fact it was not the appropriate time or my operate did not match with anticipations. But this time, it worked”, he mentioned.

Ayissi started out young, generating outfits for his mother who was a winner of the Overlook Cameroon splendor pageant in the 1960s.

Drifting into modeling, he moved to Paris 30 years back, and walked the runway for high-end stylists which includes Yves Saint-Laurent, Pierre Cardin, Givenchy and Lanvin.

He afterwards decided to commit himself fully to operating as a designer, defining a model he described as minimal, modern and tasteful “with a certain mastery of fabric and form”.

For his show late on Thursday, which was picked out to shut this year’s version of the Paris Haute Couture trend week, products walked down the catwalk in a Paris resort to a soundtrack of African music.

Versions confirmed off robes in the style of up to date Western style but with a twist: they were made of natural Faso Dan Fani, a cotton cloth from Burkina Faso woven in strips.

One more outfit, a silk costume, was adorned with stained tree bark slash out into the shape of bouquets.

“I do what I can – to present genuine African materials, explain to tales,” Ayissi mentioned of his collection.

Reporting Laetitia Volga and Michaela Cabrera, editing by Christian Lowe and Andrew Heavens

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