Italian fashionwear, coordinated with accessories made by the women of Niger, walked the runway at the 4th edition of the Niamey Fashion Week. The event was organised by the Italian Embassy in Niger as part of the activities to promote Brand Italy. “For us, to show Italian and Nigerien fashion creations on a catwalk represents a success of the development cooperation programmes financed by the Italian government. To capitalise on culture and offer an instrument of economic growth to local communities is one of Italy’s goals in Niger,” said Ambassador Marco Prencipe. The dresses shown at Fashion Week were by designer Cristina Berni, the founder of the Kristal B trademark in the ‘90s, who manufactures her pieces entirely in Italy with top-quality materials and finishing. The precious accessories and jewels on the catwalk were instead made by Tuareg women and women from North Niger.
These handmade products were developed and made as part of the projects financed by Italy with the aim of promoting economic and social integration of youth, while at the same time capitalizing on the very rich cultural heritage of Nigerien handicraft, especially the jewels from the region of Agadez, renowned throughout the world for its cultural wealth and its artisanal traditions. The famous “Cross of Agadez” is in fact one of the best-known symbols of Africa.