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4 months ago, by Voir Editorial Team These Boss Ladies Are Taking Over Italian Fashion at MFW

4 months ago, by Voir Editorial Team

These Boss Ladies Are Taking Over Italian Fashion at MFW

Yesterday, Milan Fashion Week opened its doors to international talents and an exploration into the latest fashion campaigns. Diversity and inclusion were at the heart of the opening day, as the virtual runway ‘Fab Five, non siamo una moda’ (Fab five, Not just a trend) premiered at the Permanente Museum in Milan.

The virtual event was a creation from Italian-Angolan writer and director of Netflix’s ‘Zero ‘, Antonio Dikele di Stefano. The video rounded off with an appearance from Edward Enninful (Editor in Chief of British Vogue and Vogue’s European Editorial Director), who has always been a voice for overlooked talents.

The project was carried out by the team at WAMI, an organization set up by BIPOC designers Stella Jean and Edward Buchanan, and by Michelle Francine Ngonmo, founder of the Afro Fashion Association, a nonprofit organization established in 2015. The aim of WAMI is to recognise the contribution Black Indigenous People Of Colour have given, and continue to give the fashion industry, whilst working towards putting an end to the racism and exclusion BIPOC designers have faced; becoming a catalyst for change and representation.

The Fab Five were made up of five talented women; Sheetal Shah, Nyny Ryke Goungou, Romy Calzado Celda, Zineb Hazim and Judith Saint Germain. The designers are now based in Italy, but each originate from five different countries; Morocco, Haiti, Togo, Cuba and India.

At Voir, we wanted to celebrate these women by sharing their collections and stories.

Sheetal Shah

Photo Credit: Vogue Italia

Beginning her training in India, Sheetal ended up securing a BA in Textile Design after studying at the Central Saint Martins School in London. She managed to fulfill two internships in Italy, one at the Cosmo Silk Factory and one in Naples.

Sheetal’s latest collection ‘Breaking Identities’, is gender-fluid and aims to elevate the conventional use of denim in Fashion, and instead transform denim into tailored suits. The collection is injected with the colours of India, acting as a memoir for India’s contribution to the fashion industry. Sheetal also pushed herself to use recycled materials, being conscious of the ongoing environmental issues with the fashion industry.

Judith Saint Jermain

Photo Credit: Vogue Italia

After studying Fashion Design, Designer Judith Borsetto set up her own stylistic consultancy whilst she developed her skills on creating women’s accessories. Eventually, Judith was inspired to start her own line and chose to keep her original surname ‘Saint Jermain’, to symbolize the bond to her native country of Haiti.

Her latest collection ‘UNCHARTED’ is inspired by the love of her homeland, featuring colours of the Haitan flag throughout the collection. ‘UNCHARTED’ offers a range of womens footwear, made from Italian leather, and developed with Italian based manufacturer ‘Pisa’. The collection also includes belts, and jewellery engraved with the ‘J’ logo.

Nyny Ryke Goungou

Photo Credit: Vogue Italia

Originally from Togo, Goungou went on to study at Milan’s NABA, graduating with a degree in fashion and textiles. She then continued her studies in Milan and Paris, where she mastered in lingerie-making and corsetry at the Formamod institute.

‘Ethical Chic’ is Nyny’s latest collection, centered around her appreciation for Japanese culture, whilst using African fabrications in a modern way. As the collection’s name suggests, Goungou chose to use responsible materials, and used traditional manufacturing techniques derived from her native country. She developed relationships with women artisans from Togo, leading to her experimentation with traditional Yoruba fabrics, resulting in her own reinterpretation of the fabrics, offering a similar feeling to linen.

Romy Calzado Celda

Photo Credit: Vogue Italia

Cuban Native Romy Calzado Celda first attended art school in Udine, and then went on to study at the Burgio Fashion Institute, specializing in Fashion Design and CAD Modelling. Romy now holds a teaching role at the institute. She also has a passion for prints and ethical textiles, which she developed during her time at Etro.

Her topical and innovative collection ‘Unlabeled’ saw Calzado Celda team up with Italy-based nanotechnology company ‘Directa Plus Spa’. Through this collaboration she was able to use developed antiviral materials, such as denim coated with graphene, which can prevent the presence of viruses on the material. The collection is ethical and sustainable, allowing for garments to be washed less frequently.

Zineb Hazim

Photo Credit: Vogue Italia

After graduating from Scuola Moda Cesena and being propelled into working in the fashion world, Zineb realised that no fashion organizations were reflecting her needs as a Muslim business woman. Taking this into her own hands, she made the very first collection aimed at Muslim business women.

Her collection ‘Business Woman’ gives Muslim women a voice, and shows that being modest does not mean you can’t dress modern. This progressive message is married with the Prince of Wales print used throughout her collection, to express the masculine and professional side of European culture. She uses bright colours such as blue and fuschia to add flavour, whilst the lengths and shapes reflect the identity of Muslim women.

Words by Nadia Clasper

Photo Credit: Vogue Italia


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