African fashion designers and black fashion models recently made quite a showing at Sao Paulo Fashion Week SS16 in Brazil in Africa Africans Moda, which took place at the Afro Brazil Museum on April 17th. The event, which was curated by Nigerian director and editor Andy Okoroafor featured a host of talents, including designer Maki Oh from Nigeria, Palesa Mokubung from South Africa, Jamil Walji from Kenya, Imane Ayissi from Cameroon, and Xuly Bët from Mali.
The show, which featured 25 black models, was also a major step in increasing visibility for models of African descent in Brazil. Despite the fact that nearly approximately 50% of Brazil’s population is of African descent, black models are scarce on the country’s high fashion runways. In 2009, organizers and designers at Sao Paulo fashion week agreed to a 10% black model quota after outcry from activists. Designers who violated the new policy would be subject to fines. Years later, not much has changed in terms of diversity in fashion in Brazil.
Selections from the Africa Africans Moda show will be on display at the Afro Brazil Museum starting May 25th as part of World Africa Day and the exhibition Africa Africans, which will be on view until August 30th.
Image Credit: Fernanda Calfat/GETTY. h/t Black Women of Brazil, Associated Press, Vogue Brazil.