The Afro Fashion Association Announces Second Edition Of Its Black Carpet Awards


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The Afro Fashion Association, founded in 2015, has announced the second year of its Black Carpet Awards. Slated to take place on February 25 during Milan Fashion Week the gala will be hosted at the Palazzo Reale, according to WWD. An awards ceremony during the event will shed light on underrepresented talent across the realms of fashion, design, cinema, and more to encourage diversity and inclusion globally. The winners are selected from a database of over 3,000 professionals based in Italy with 25 finalists competing for one of 10 prizes from the categories of culture, legacy, creativity, community, and entrepreneurship. Five winners will be selected by the Afro Fashion Association’s jury led by founder Michelle Francine Ngonmo while the other five will be selected through online voting. 

The jury consists of respected names throughout the art and fashion industry like Off-White’s art and image director Ib Kamara, Tamu McPherson, fashion curator Gloria Maria Cappelletti, journalist Jorgan Anderson, art director Macs Iotti, and designers Stella Jean and Edward Buchanan. Other notable names on the jury include model Simonetta Gianfelici, designer Nana Brenu, founder Celia Sears, and creative director Victoria Adaeze Ejiogu. There will be more jurors announced later, according to the organizers. 

A new prize paying homage to the late designer Virgil Abloh will be initiated at this year’s awards. “This year, our team is committed to continuing Virgil’s legacy by supporting emerging talents in our way. The Virgil Abloh Award celebrates young designers who are making a significant impact in the industry through their creative work,” Ngonmo tells WWD. During the special evening, the Afro Fashion Association will reportedly reveal a new short film called “The New Wave.” The film aims to honor 10 of the rising stars who are receiving an award. 

In February of last year, designs by 12 emerging Black, indigenous, and people of color designers who live or primarily work in Italy were displayed at the Afro Fashion Association’s “Afrofashion at Modes” event. A few of the notable names included Phan Dang Hoang, Akilah Stewart, Zineb Hazim, and Karim Daoudi.

This year’s Black Carpet Awards ceremony will surely ignite inspiration for creativity throughout Italy and globally. Hopefully, more initiatives like this bring to light the many overlooked artists and creatives who are making a difference in their industries. 


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