The International Festival of Fashion (FIMA) 13th edition is a long-awaited return to creativity, aesthetics, and cultural exchange after its previous edition in 2019.
FIMA staged its exhibition in the capital of Niger for five days, filling the city with glitz and glam. About fifty top models and thirty fashion designers presented African-inspired clothing, accessories, and jewelry. The competition for young designers attracted dozens of designers.
Sun Alejandro, a Rwandan designer based in Gabon, was influenced by the Bantu culture, which transcends Central and Southern Africa’s inhabitants.
“This collection is a little bit of tribal code because I love Bantu culture which I find very rich. That’s why we find panther prints on most of these clothes which is an animal very representative of Gabonese culture and which symbolizes strength“– Sun Alejandro
FIMA’s founder, Alphadi, has always stressed the significance of young people in the fashion industry. He is an internationally recognized fashion designer and UNESCO’s ambassador of peace.
He has gladly invited all stakeholders of the African fashion industry from all over the world on stage in his homeland of Niger since the founding of FIMA in 1998. The event’s goal was to bring all African countries, their diasporas, and international guests together to learn about and share Africa’s cultural wealth, expertise, and innovation.
The concert provided an opportunity for amateurs such as Erudie Deberry of Benin, who wowed the audience. She said:
“Winning to honour my country, I am also very proud, winning to go to other countries and travel, winning to further develop my career, winning for me first and also for my country, that’s it”
As indicated by their trilogy: Culture, Peace, and Development, FIMA has been involved in the promotion of culture, art, and tourism in Niger, but notably in Africa, for over two decades.
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FIMA 2021 took place in Niamey, the capital of the Republic of Niger, from December 1 to 5. Thousands of guests and fashion luminaries were welcomed for four nights in a row at the African Fashion Festival, which was held amid the magnificent and distinctive décor of the Niger Republic’s spectacular desert.
The people of Niger, a largely Muslim country, were quite accepting of other African civilizations that prominently displayed the female body. However, in the face of the diversity, Niger’s designers, like sisters Adama and Aicha Seyni Seydou, makers of the Mam’Mode brand, remained rooted in the culture. The sisters said:
“The female body is something very precious, it’s a treasure in fact. Through our clothes too try to highlight this body and at the same time respect the local culture”
The host country took and provided all security and convenience measures for the event, with the assistance of President of the Republic of Niger, Mr. Mohamed BAZOUM.
Read more about FIMA here
Arakunrin Lekan is a Managing Editor & writer at the TheAfricanDream LLC. He’s also a freelance poet, graphics designer, and a business man.