African fashion shines at Paris Fashion Week

EFI made its debut during Paris Fashion Week showcasing African designers from current and previous Accelerators. Collections ranged from ready-to-wear to jewellery and marked the Ethical Fashion Initiative’s first show in Paris during the official Fashion Week calendar. 

On March 2nd, 2022, nine African designers showcased their collections at The Norm in Paris. For autumn-winter, the designers all of whom are based and producing within the African continent, displayed their collections ranging from ready-to-wear to jewellery and accessories. 

All designers featured in the show were participants of EFI’s Accelerator programme, specifically designed to propel African brands forward in the global marketplace. While designers Lukhanyo Mdingi, Margaux Wong, and Jiamini are alumni, having exited the programme in December 2021, other brands Laurenceairline, Kente Gentlemen, Ohiri, Hamaji, Suave and Katush are currently in the middle of their second year of the programme. 

Hamaji, photography by Elie Benistant
Laurenceairline, photography by Elie Benistant

Together, all nine creatives contribute to positioning and redefining the notion of today’s and tomorrow’s Made-in-Africa in the industry, expressing the richness of the craft and creativity of the continent’s talents. All the garments worn during EFI’s show were proudly produced in Africa and reflect the unique inspirations and identities of each designer. 

Ohiri, photography by Elie Benistant
Kente Gentlemen, photography by Elie Benistant
Lukhanyo Mdingi, photography by Elie Benistant

The event took place at The Norm, a cross-disciplinary venue and space that gives way for both established and emerging designers that are leaders in the field of sustainability to be welcomed into the fold, featuring curated displays of hand-selected archival pieces from iconic designers, as well as a vintage selection. Every detail of the show at The Norm had an eco-conscious backstory. From the fashion, which is locally manufactured, and at times, exclusively artisanal, to the set, where the elements used were selected on a zero-waste principle, featuring upcycled, vintage, and recycled materials. The set utilised handwoven cotton from Burkina Faso throughout, reflective of its use in many of the collections presented. 

Professionals within the fashion industry, curious visitors, friends of the designers, and the EFI team were all welcomed in a relaxed, inclusive, and musical atmosphere, signalling a changing landscape in the industry. 

Jiamini, photography by Marthe Sobczak
Suave, photography by Marthe Sobczak
Katush, photography by Elie Benistant
Margaux Wong, photography by Elie Benistant



Creative direction: The Community 

Venue: The Norm  

Sound designer: Crystallmess 

Casting: Conan Laurendot 

Hair: Yann Turchi 

Make up: Ruben Mas  

Styling: Anita Szymczak 

Drinks sponsors: Lillet and Ceders (Pernod Ricard)