Asylum seekers from Mali and Gambia walked the catwalk for a prestigious fashion show in Florence, as part of the initiative ‘Generation Africa’, introduced by the Ethical Fashion Initiative (ITC).
“As we are in Italy and have a huge refugee crisis we also want to show that migrants are a resource,”
The show took place at the Pitti Uomomenswear event on Thursday, as refugees from the ages of 19-27 modeled the latest designs for spring/summer 16. They had been hand picked from the reception centres by the ITC, which represents and assists emerging design talents from Africa.
Founder of the ITC, Simone Cipriani explained;
“We are setting up a training center for refugees & migrants in Italy to work in the industry of fashion & be enabled to go back home & set up their own businesses there,”
Generation African has joined forces with Lai-Momo – an association that deals with migration issues, establishing reception centres in Bologna . The models were given a quick crash course on walking the walk, where they were quick to adapt and blend in to their surroundings in an impressive and professional manner.
President of Lai-Momo, Andrea Marchesini Reggiani stated that the project was a way for migrants to be represented in a positive light and integrate into society.
“If I take an asylum seeker & put them in a suit, people perceive them in a certain way, which hopefully allows them to think of them as an equal human being, not as someone’s less than them,”