27 January 2022. Paris is preparing to live an original night. It is the week of Parisian haute couture and fashion. Le All-Paris is invited. That evening, it is the toilets that will interest the audience. A watchword: count the buttons on very worked shirts… Watching the men’s swaying in mermaids, the winged goddesses’ flights. Supreme extravagance for a non-averted audience. This is the flower of Paris.
Imane Ayissi made a Knight of Arts and Letters
Next to this colorful scene, another big event. Of a more historical scope. Imane Ayissi, the very famous Cameroonian stylist, will be made a knight of the Arts and Letters of France. He is the first sub-Saharan designer to integrate the very selective calendar of Parisian haute couture. It was not easy, he said, moved to tears, during the presentation of the medal surrounded by his family. Long in the shadows – the world of fashion has its mysteries – the spotlights begin to illuminate it… We extend the microphone to him, we give him the floor. When he speaks, it is not only him who speaks. But, Africa; a son of the continent. Now the tongues are loose. The canary of the omerta has been broken. The most secret things come out. The Cameroonian stylist was put on the sidelines for a long time by the French public. A consecration. A well-deserved recognition for an important player in the world of culture who, in 30 years of fashion show, has not finished leaving its mark on the world of fashion.
Writer, dancer, model, stylist…
Imane Ayissi is a universal man. A jack of all trades. Graft him with wings in his back, he will soar. Fins, he will foam the seas. Nothing resists him. He came into the world with ideas from another time and his hands full of wonders. Everything bends to his limitless talent. And to say that, is a bit of an understatement. For, it is still a little saying. As comfortable with a pen as with a scissors, the former model has, over the years, slipped towards the scissors: the world of haute couture and fashion. By investing in his profession, he succeeded in becoming a key player and even a role model for young Africans. Imane made, while remaining deeply African, a haute couture until then almost exclusively reserved for the “white” man.
Parades that tell stories…
Imane Ayissi’s traditional outfits, with Western touch-ups, are drawn from the rich African heritage. The parades are moments for him to celebrate Africa. Each of his parades tells a story of Africa and represents a form of Afro-activism. These parades are moments for him to put Africa at the forefront, to talk about Africa. Each of his models that enters the scene allows to show the African landscapes scroll. It is far from those activists who fill the columns of the newspapers and who do not hesitate to make the punch to be heard. This passionate about sewing and seeking originality,it is a head full of the exotic heritage of Africa that expresses itself: At 53 years old, this African baobab has not finished showing the néré, the ferment, of creations drawn from the beautiful African landscape. He uses existing materials to create masterpieces. Each of his creations is an autobiography of Africa. Imane Ayissi is quite famous in the world: he is a man of great culture. For all that he brings to Africa, it would not be unfair to thank him. Imane Ayissi is a great icon.
Long live Africa!