Ethical Fashion Initiative x Pitti Uomo to Bring Top African Menswear Brands to “Constellation Africa” Showcase.
Over the past few seasons of Pitti Uomo’s Fondazione Pitti Discovery, a space set aside for rising stars on the world’s economic and creative stage with the Guest Nation project, has highlighted some of the most promising emerging talent in global fashion.
This year, in cooperation with the ITC ETHICAL FASHION INITIATIVE, Pitti Uomo’s 88th edition will focus on fashion from Africa with the special “Constellation Africa” event aimed at promoting young and talented designers from the continent.
Scheduled to present their work at a runway show on Thursday, 18 June at the Dogana (Via Valfonda) are four brands that privilege manufacturing in their home countries and are already known on the international market. Dent de Man, MaXhosa by Laduma, Orange Culture and Projecto Mental were selected as part of the African Fashion Designer competition launched by the Ethical Fashion Initiative in December 2014. Their participation at Pitti Uomo 88 marks the Ethical Fashion Initiative’s continued efforts to promote creativity from Africa and encourage the manufacturing of fashion garments & goods on the African continent.
Orange Culture is a contemporary menswear brand created by Nigerian designer Adebayo Oke-Lawal in 2011. The brand combines classic and contemporary western silhouettes with an African edge. Orange Culture fuses Nigerian silhouettes, print fabrics and contemporary urban streetwear. Orange Culture is more than a clothing line, it is a “movement” for a creative class of men that are “self-aware, expressive, explorative and art-loving nomads”. Orange culture has been featured by top fashion magazines and was recently shortlisted by Vogue Talents for Africa and LVMH’s 2014 Young Fashion Designer Prize.
MaXhosa by Laduma is a South African knitwear brand founded in 2010 by Laduma Ngxokolo. The South African Xhosa manhood initiation ritual practiced by amakrwala was behind the launch of the brand as Laduma sought to create Xhosa-inspired modern knitwear that would be suitable for this tradition. Since, the Xhosa aesthetic has come to be part of the DNA of the knitwear brand as Laduma has explored and reinterpreted traditional Xhosa beadwork, patterns, symbolism and colours to inspire his modern knitwear line. Through his work, Laduma is an agent of change, shifting and evolving with the changing times and further engaging in the dialogue that keeps pushing traditional culture toward the future.
Projecto Mental is an Angolan fashion brand, founded in 2004 by creative duo Shunnoz Fiel & Tekasala Ma’at Nzinga, which fuses fashion and art. The brand was created in the aftermath of the civil war as a platform to help reshape Angola’s cultural identity, after the country was ravaged by decades of civil war. Suits with an experimental twist are the signature item of the Projecto Mental brand. Projecto Mental takes an avant-garde approach to tailoring as the designers re-imagine and re-invent the traditional suit for men and women. Strong block colours combined with prints and patterns bring boldness to each design.
Dent de Man is a menswear brand created in 2012 by British-Ivorian designer, Alexis Temomanin. Dent de Man’s approach to luxury style is defined by a mix of classic tailoring with colourful patterned fabric. The Dent de Man lifestyle is defined by freedom, quality and “esthétisme”, empowering individuals to dress for themselves. Self-expression is core to Dent de Man’s philosophy. The brand prides itself on the use of vintage fabrics and celebration of ancient printing techniques, Dent de Man adapts decadent and bold Java prints forming unique garments that allow individuals to own distinctive and irreplaceable pieces. All Dent de Man fabric is carefully sourced and possesses its own story and meaning.