Three African asylum seekers took to the runway this week at Pitti Immagine Uomo 89. Here, one model walks for African-designed fashion brand U.mi-1.
As part of "Generation Africa" -- a collaboration between Fondazione Pitti Discovery and ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative -- a fashion show, held on Thursday January 14, featured the Autumn/Winter 2016 collections of four African-designed fashion brands: AKJP, Lukhanyo Mdingi x Nicholas Coutts (shown here), Ikiré Jones and U.mi-1.
The brands were the second group of African-designed menswear labels selected and promoted at Pitti by ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative as part of its African Designer Program. The first group showcased their collections during the 88th edition of Pitti Uomo in June 2015.
This time the Ethical Fashion Initiative partnered with Lai-momo, an Italian organization working with migrants, to cast three asylum seekers to participate as paid models, alongside other professional models in the show.
According to Lai-momo, the men selected to participate in a fashion shoot and the runway show are aged between 19-27 years old and from Mali and Gambia.
Ahead of their fashion debuts they received professional modeling training.
Under the slogan of, "Not charity, just work." The Ethical Fashion Initiative advocates for a fairer global fashion industry by arming people with the skills to allow them to join fashion's value chain.
Wale Oyejide, the American-Nigerian designer for Ikiré Jones makes final preparations backstage ahead of the show.
Here two of the models pose for a selfie backstage ahead of their runway debut.