With a project planned and guided by the designer Stella Jean, Edward Buchanan, stylist and creative director of the Sansovino6 brand, and Michelle Francine Ngonmo, founder of the Afro Fashion Association and National Chamber of Italian Fashion, together with the collaboration of five other black professionals – Veronica Costanza Ward, Celia Sears, Angelica Pesarini and Jordan Anderson – the second edition of “The Fab Five – We are Made in Italy” was presented. Stella Jean, the only black member of the Italian Fashion Chamber, has strongly encouraged the presence of Afro designers in Made in Italy. From July 2020 to today, dialogue and team building have led to the creation of the “We Are Made In Italy” ("WAMI") project, which is extremely important for fashion, certainly, but also for the whole country.
The five brands selected, headed by African talents were able to present their collections on the international stage of Italian Fashion Week. Joy Meribe by Joy ljeomaMeribe, Karim Daoudi by the designer of the same name, GISFAB by Claudia Gisèle Ntsama, Frida-Kiza by Fabiola Manirakiza and Mokodu by Pape Mocodou Fall were the names selected for this occasion, who partnered with major Italian manufacturers to make their creations. The five talents, who have their roots in the African continent but are building a solid future in Italy, presented their collections in a virtual fashion show that opened Milan Fashion Week. This was complemented by a digital showroom, where the designers were able to tell their stories through biographies and collection look-books. In addition, CNMI organised personalised online meetings with the most important Italian and international buyers. "By guiding these young designers, the National Chamber for Italian Fashion will become a model for a new multicultural Italy. The companies that have collaborated with us have taken the decision to open the doors of their ateliers and archives. They are teaching these young talented designers unique and precious techniques,” said Stella Jean. “Made in Italy is not just a label, but it is a concept that holds a treasure, synonymous, as it is proving today, not only with technical excellence, but also human excellence.” The President of the National Chamber for Italian Fashion, Carlo Capasa, also declared his complete support for this initiative, which aims to promote diversity and inclusion, the main pillars of the strategy of the Italian fashion industry.

Claudia Gisèle Ntsama was born in Cameroon, where she studied fashion before moving to Italy to attend the Fashion Design course at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna. After completing her bachelor’s degree in fashion design, she continued her studies with a master’s degree and in her fifth year, as part of the Erasmus project, she attended the “Haute Ecole Des Arts du Rhin” in Strasbourg as a textile designer. During her studies in Italy, Claudia continued to work at the most menial jobs in order to be able to afford the specialist textile courses that have always fascinated her. Her style is inspired by the world of contemporary art and Asian fashion (Watanabe and Yamamoto are her favourite designers). She loves designing fabrics for clothing and fashion in general.
Originally from Burundi, Fabiola Manirakiza moved to Italy as a young girl with her family and has lived in the Marche region since 1990. The culture and art of her host land has had a strong influence on her design. Having trained as a doctor, she decided to study fashion, which led her to attend specific courses in fashion schools abroad. Back in Italy, after some work experience in fashion companies, she started creating clothes for herself and her circle of friends. The feedback was so positive that in 2016 she launched her Frida-Kiza brand.
Joy Meribe
Joy Ijeoma Meribe was born in Nigeria. After graduating in Foreign Languages and Literature, she moved to Italy in 2003 and studied cultural/linguistic mediation, and subsequently completed a Master’s degree in International Business Studies in Reggio Emilia. Long passionate about fashion design, she attended a fashion school linked to the Burgo Institute circuit in Modena and Bologna. In 2017, she launched her own brand, which she defines as "Afropolitan Made in Italy", and created her first collection.
Karim Daoudi
Born in Morocco, Karim Daoudi is a young designer who lives in San Mauro Pascoli, where he works in a footwear company. To broaden his fashion skills, he attended a course as a technical shoe pattern maker. In his creations, he mixes different materials using multiple sewing techniques, balancing elegance and functionality. In 2017, he won the “Fashion Young Stylists CNA Federmoda Roma” award and took part in TheOne Milano. In 2018, he landed at Milano Unica for the production and design of samples and in 2019 he took part in the “Fashion Graduate Italia” show.
Pape Macodou Fall, alias Mokodu, is a Senegalese artist and fashion designer based in Rome. Born into a family of diplomats, he made his debut at a very young age as a cartoonist. In Italy, he initially worked as an actor and film producer. He cultivates a passion for figurative painting and portraiture, focusing on iconic figures of the African Renaissance. His works have been exhibited in various countries: at the Paris Art Fair, at the Biennale of Contemporary Art and Culture in Rome and at the Dak’art Biennale in Dakar. In 2017, a meeting with the founder of the Afro Fashion Association gave him the opportunity to enter the world of fashion: the following year, Mokodu launched his first “Jardin de l'Amour” collection.