Milan — Italy’s Afro Fashion Association is inaugurating the Black Carpet Awards during February Milan Fashion Week, which will take place February 22-28.
Promoting diversity, equality and inclusion since 2015 and highlighting talents from diverse backgrounds with an original focus on the African continent, the association will host a gala at a yet undisclosed location on February 22, where 10 awards in five categories will be presented in 10. . Change leaders from underrepresented communities.
“Throughout my career, I have met people and companies that have challenged the perception of DE&I in the country and rewritten its history. “I thought of celebrating them because celebration is a fundamental form of representation,” said Michelle Francine Ngonmo, the brainchild of the Afro Fashion Association, and Stella Jean and Edward Buchanan, the power designers behind We Are Made in Italy. or the WAMI collective that took part in the last Milan Fashion Week shows.
The Afro Fashion Association has a database of 3,000 shortlisted professionals and talents from the 25 finalists. An international jury will select 10 winners in five categories: culture, heritage, creativity, community and entrepreneurship. Talking about the second category, Ngonmo underlined that “while diversity is often approached as philanthropy, it is also a driver of wealth”.
The focus of the seminal edition will be Italy-based personalities, businesses and associations active in fashion, design, food, music, sports and cinema, among other fields, contributing to creating new cultural and entrepreneurial paradigms in the country. Ngonmo’s goal is to expand the international reach of the event.
The event will include the projection of a video as a tribute to the late Virgil Abloh, a longtime supporter of the association and Ngonmo’s work.
The project is the result of ongoing conversations with other like-minded professionals who have been drawn to the Afro Fashion Association over the years.
Ngonmo included social media personality Tamu McPherson in addition to Buchanan and Jean; Gloria Maria Cappelletti, art and fashion curator and digital art expert; Jordan Anderson, Milan-based journalist and creative director of the digital project My Queer Blackness, My Black Queerness or MQBMBQ; art director Macs Iotti; Ghana-born, Italian designer Nana Brenu is head of editorial content alongside Vogue Italia Francesca Ragazzi and Walter D’Aprile, founder and CEO of Nss.
“Diversity is about sitting around a table and debating to challenge representation,” Ngonmo said. “I hope this project breaks down the walls and barriers and helps understand the importance of building connections and working together to write the story of DE&I,” he said.