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Paris cheers Naomi Campbell and Nigeria’s rising fashion star

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1/8 SLIDES © Getty Images

Nigerian designer Kenneth Ize acknowledges the audience at the end of the Kenneth Ize show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2020/2021

2/8 SLIDES © Getty Images

Nigerian designer Kenneth Ize acknowledges the audience at the end of the Kenneth Ize show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2020/2021

3/8 SLIDES © getty images

Naomi Campbell walks the runway during the Kenneth Ize show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2020/2021

4/8 SLIDES © Getty Images

British model Naomi Campbell walks the runway during the Kenneth Ize show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2020/2021

5/8 SLIDES © Getty Images

Nigerian designer Kenneth Ize acknowledges the audience at the end of the Kenneth Ize show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2020/2021

6/8 SLIDES © getty images

Naomi Campbell walks the runway during the Kenneth Ize show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2020/2021

7/8 SLIDES © getty images

Nigerian Designer Kenneth Ize speaks to the media after the Kenneth Ize show as part of Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2020/2021

8/8 SLIDES © getty images

File Photo-Finalist of the LVMH Prize 2019, Kenneth Izedonmwen (Kenneth Ize) at Restaurant Laperouse

8/8 SLIDES

Nigerian Kenneth Ize made a storming Paris fashion week debut Monday with his “fairy godmother”, supermodel Naomi Campbell, closing the showing.

The 29-year-old, who has had a meteoric rise to the Paris catwalk, lavished praise on the ageless British model who he said had supported him “from day one”.

Both were cheered by the fashionistas as the end of the show.

“I am living my dream,” Ize told reporters backstage after the show on the opening night of Paris fashion week.

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“Naomi made this happen. She has been part of the journey since day one. She is very supportive. She is my fairy godmother,” he declared.

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Ize has made an name for himself reinterpreting traditional West African fabrics such as the aso oke cloth woven by the Yoruba people, and his autumn winter collection was full of it.

He told AFP that the show was inspired by his memories of going to Catholic church in Lagos with his mother, with everyone in their Sunday best outfits.

– Black hearts –

“It is about my religion, love, who I am, the people I believe in and sharing,” he added. 

It is a big week for black African designers on the Paris catwalk with the South African Thebe Magugu, who won the LVMH Young Fashion Designer of the year prize, getting a special official presentation slot Tuesday.

Last month Cameroonian creator Imane Ayissi made history by becoming the first black African designer to be admitted to the elite ranks of Paris haute couture.

Like Ayissi, Ize is a champion of traditional African fabrics and techniques with the LVMH prize jury — where he lost out to Magugu — praising his “authenticity and the fight to source and produce locally in Nigeria”.

Ize also reflected African silhouettes with tunics worn over trousers. “I believe in the way I dress, this is who I am,” said the designer, who partially grew up in Austria, where he studied in Vienna under the Turkish Cypriot British designer Hussein Chalayan.

Earlier, South Korean designer Kiminte Kimhekim sent out a playful black and white collection centred on black heart motifs, with one model even sporting a heart-shaped hairstyle.

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1/24 SLIDES © Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage/Getty Images; Jennifer Graylock/PA Images via Getty Images

Naomi Campbell (1990, 2019)

2/24 SLIDES © Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage/Getty Images; Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Best Buddies Internationa…

Cindy Crawford (1990, 2019)

3/24 SLIDES © Rose Hartman/WireImage/Getty Images; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

Gisele Bündchen (1994, 2019)

4/24 SLIDES © Ron Galella/WireImage/Getty Images; John Parra/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

Tyra Banks (1993, 2019)

Slideshow continues on the next slide

5/24 SLIDES © Vic Singh/Shutterstock; Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Kate Moss (1992, 2019)

6/24 SLIDES © Shutterstock; VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Heidi Klum (1998, 2019)

7/24 SLIDES © Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage/Getty Images; Gary Gershoff/Getty Images

Rebecca Romijn (1996, 2019)

8/24 SLIDES © Ron Galella/WireImage/Getty Images; Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Claudia Schiffer (1990, 2019)

9/24 SLIDES © Guy Marineau/Condé Nast/Getty Images; George Pimentel/WireImage/Getty Images

Carla Bruni (1992, 2019)

Slideshow continues on the next slide

10/24 SLIDES © Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images; Darren Gerrish/WireImage/Getty Images

Kristen McMenamy (1990, 2019)

11/24 SLIDES © Images Press/Getty Images; Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

Eva Herzigová (1992, 2019)

12/24 SLIDES © Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images; Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Helena Christensen (1990, 2019)

13/24 SLIDES © Julio Donoso/Sygma/Getty Images; George Chinsee/WWD/Shutterstock

Christy Turlington (1990, 2019)

14/24 SLIDES © Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage/Getty Images; Michael Loccisano/Wire Image/Getty Images

Milla Jovovich (1991, 2019)

Slideshow continues on the next slide

15/24 SLIDES © Arthur Elgort/Conde Nast/Getty Images; Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for WSJ. Magazine

Amber Valletta (1993, 2019)

16/24 SLIDES © Ron Galella/WireImage/Getty Images; Dan MacMedan/Getty Images

Molly Sims (1997, 2019)

17/24 SLIDES © Ron Galella/WireImage/Getty Images; Raymond Hall/GC Images/Getty Images

Christie Brinkley (1990, 2019)

18/24 SLIDES © Jean-François Rault/Sygma/Getty Images; Stefania D’Alessandro/Getty Images

Laetitia Casta (1995, 2019)

19/24 SLIDES © Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage/Getty Images; Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Niki Taylor (1992, 2018)

20/24 SLIDES © Steve Back/Daily Mail/Shutterstock; Gisela Schober/Getty Images

Elle Macpherson (1992, 2019)

21/24 SLIDES © Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images; Foc Kan/WireImage/Getty Images

Karen Mulder (1990, 2014)

22/24 SLIDES © Pool PAT/ARNAL/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images; Daniele Venturelli/Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images

Stephanie Seymour (1992, 2019)

23/24 SLIDES © Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage/Getty Images; Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images

Chandra North (1998, 2016)

24/24 SLIDES © Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images; Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Linda Evangelista (1990, 2015)

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