This former Cameroonian model is the first designer in sub-Saharan Africa to be included in the famous Paris haute couture calendar in January 2020. Her collection reflects the huge diversity of Blackland’s know-how.
Imane Ayissi lived for several years before becoming a fashion designer, but the body is always the core of her activities. The model house of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Cardin, dancers of the Cameroon National Ballet, later a collaborator of Patrick Dupond and an amateur boxer, The couturier puts freedom of movement at the core of his creation. “Body expression is the core element of clothing construction. I try all prototypes with mannequins instead of Stockman. I drape fabrics on people. I like to witness the birth of new forms and see their lives. ”
Imane Ayissi was born in Cameroon in 1968. Her father was a boxer and her stewardess was her mother. In 1960, Cameroon became the first lady after independence. As a child, he drew characters on the floor and dressed up his sisters and cousins with the things he found. “I have incredible memories of my mother. Every weekend in Yaoundé, people flock to the airport, hoping to see her pass. Let’s admire her figure on high heels and her hair bun in the 1960s. This is Attractive place. I said to myself: This is not my mother, this is the fairy tale we put in my house.”
In the early 1990s, he moved to Paris. “For several years, I used a sewing machine to create amateur fashion in the maid’s room, doing odd jobs next to it. Then I showed my first collection in 1992, and I bought all the accessories in the Saint-Pierre market. Polka-dot fabric. I proposed 120 polka-dot dresses! Since then, I have never missed any appointments again, and I will dedicate a collection every year. I think perseverance, seriousness, and consistency are very important.”
In January 2020, Imane Ayissi became the first creator in sub-Saharan Africa to register on the official high fashion calendar, always striving to provide his own fashion vision with the same precision, rather than clichés. “Too many Europeans think that African fashion will be outdated. I am eager to show the diversity and richness of African textile know-how in the process of sharing, while praising its origin. The greatest misfortune of Africa is that we sold its legacy. “
Here, we saw the “Save the Earth” embroidery, inspired by the Abomey tapestries in Benin and the Asafo flag in Ghana. There, the faso dan fani of Burkina Faso, the kenté and ndop Bamiléké of Ghana wore haute couture dresses… and, when he was not obsessed with fashion, Imane Ayissi created creations inspired by the mainland of the motherland s story.