“This is the best group of designers we have accelerated,” said program chief technical adviser Simone Cipriani. “We wanted them to be here in fashion week because these people are not only designers, in their own countries they’re agents of change. We find that this new generation of creative talents have something to say in the world of today.”
Among the labels on show from across Africa were Hamaji, Katush, Kente Gentlemen, Laurenceairline and Lukhanyo Mdingi, representing ready-to-wear, and Jiamini, Margaux Wong, Ohiri and Suave with accessories.
EFI, a partnership under the U.N.’s umbrella, was launched in 2009 but the pandemic and the fashion industry’s resulting reckoning with its role in inequality and the climate crisis have increased the focus on inclusive companies.