PARIS (Reuters) – Cameroonian designer Imane Ayissi blended European style with African flair for a catwalk collection that marked the first time a designer from sub-Saharan Africa had joined the Paris haute couture fashion week.
“It’s an honor”, Ayissi, 51, told Reuters backstage before the show, referring to the decision, after many years of knocking him back, to finally admit him to the select club of haute couture fashion houses showing in Paris.
“I have been fighting for 28 years, dedicated all my life to the work. The French Federation of Haute Couture and Fashion opened its door to me after it rejected my application many times, because it was not the right time or my work did not match with expectations. But this time, it worked”, he said.
Ayissi started young, making outfits for his mother who was a winner of the Miss Cameroon beauty pageant in the 1960s.
Drifting into modeling, he moved to Paris thirty years ago, and walked the runway for high-end stylists…
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