The Only Two 'Non-White' Designers Who Showcased At the Prestigious Paris Haute Couture Week 2020!


Indian-born Rahul Mishra and African Imane Ayissi became the first designers to enter into fashion's elite club- the Paris Haute Couture Week 2020.

It was not just a show but a spectacle when two acclaimed Indian-born designers, Rahul Mishra and African Imaane Ayissi became the first 'non-white' designers to showcase the collection at the prestigious Paris Haute Couture Week. One couldn't be happier because it was the first time that the jury had included designers from across the globe. We say 'non-white' not with even an iota of racism. It is important, it needs to be heard, told and seen! After all, being accepted in the fashion's elite club is a rarity in Paris, especially for a non-Europeans. Not only was the show much appreciated worldwide, but it also gained an applaud from none other than Suzy Menkes who congratulated both the stalwarts in bringing forth a new face of fashion. In countries where bridalwear and colour are much appreciated, it was nice to see the two men stand their ground to bring in a new wave of design, worthy to be included as haute couture in Paris.

Both Rahul Mishra and Imane Ayissi have had a long relationship with design and fashion. While the former was also the first Indian to have worn the coveted Woolmark prize in 2014 and has been regularly showcasing in Paris for more than five years now. His nature-inspired collection was heavily inspired by his recent visit to Soneva Fushi in the Maldives, the movie Madagascar and Henri Rousseau’s painting The Dream. He explained in an interview, "It is an opportunity of great creative freedom to be able to celebrate our definition of couture in liberation from the concept of trends. I find joy in the blurring of boundaries between fashion, art and poetry.” Mishra who believes in the concept of slow fashion is the one who favours craftsmanship over anything else. "My objective is to create jobs which help people in their villages; I take work to them rather than calling them to work for me. If villages are stronger you will have a stronger country, a stronger nation, and a stronger world. My entire philosophy revolves around that. The product will go through evolution — it will change, improve — but the philosophy is constant.” he added.

Photo Credit: WWD

Photo Credit: WWD

As for Imane Ayissi- a dancer, model and couturier who mixed his African flair with European elegance for his debut collection at the Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week 2020. Did you know that it took this designer for more than two decades and many filed application to make it to this elite club. "I have been fighting for 28 years, dedicated all my life to the work. The Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode 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 told the Financial Review. His collection featured gowns that were made with organic faso dan fani, a cotton cloth from Burkina Faso woven in strips. A silk dress attested with a stained tea bark in the shape of flowers. In a way, his fabrics told his story, "I do what I can to show real African fabrics, tell stories, he concluded.

Photo Credit: WWD

Photo Credit: WWD

We are proud of the two designers and cannot wait to see more from them.

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