Two Nigerians have set up a fashion label in the Liguria region in Italy. Called "Happy Job," the label is an attempt to showcase African fashion in Italy.
The first start-up of migrants in the fashion sector in Italy has been established in Imperia in the Liguria region. Called Happy Job, the fashion house was created by two young Nigerians: Juliet Sun Igbino and Osas Osemwengie, aged 20 and 23, who arrived in Italy in May and December last year.
The two new fashion designers will exhibit 20 of their tailor-made dresses to the public at a fashion show at Baia Salata in Porto Maurizio. The dresses will be worn by migrants and assistants from the Jobel social cooperative that took care of the two youths and then helped them find jobs.
"We wanted to showcase the artisanal skills that these two youths had acquired in their countries of origin," the head of the cooperative, Alessandro Giul, said, adding that both of the migrants had said that they had worked as tailors before. The two then made a dress for the person who would later go on to be the head of the project: Claudia Regina.
"The dress was so well-liked that we decided to create a dressmaking workshop," Giul told ANSA, adding, "When Juliet touched fabric for the first time in Italy, her eyes lit up in joy and we understood that this was her path. The idea of calling the start-up 'Happy Job' came from this experience. It is also a way to leave the ghosts of the past behind and think of a happy future for our country."
The dresses are all African style. "The same can be said of the fabrics, which come from Senegal and Nigeria,'' said Antonella Campagna, who is involved in the project alongside the youths. "The first to start was Juliet, and then Osas joined," she added.
The workshop is housed in Imperia's Locanda del Buon Samaritano, which takes in many mothers and girls who are victims of human trafficking. Giul added: "It is a project that we believe in a great deal. It moves in the direction of integration and helps us to understand that migrants are a resource."