The collaboration with the Italian moderat will continue in September when five new designers from Italy’s minorities will be introduced during Fashion Week. And Jean is also creating an event with designers and craftsmen from Africa with the aim of creating partnerships between Italian fashion houses who can learn sustainable production methods in exchange for training in the global fashion system.
“You are talking about sustainability here ad nauseam, and what I see is anything but sustainable, believe me. In the countries I work in, people work 99% sustainably because of need, limitation or desire, ”said Jean.
Jean is also working on a database of African craft techniques, fabrics, motifs, and other cultural references. The Italian-Haitian designer sees the move as a bulwark against cultural appropriation that does not benefit Africans economically, and as a way to prevent it racist gaffes.
Valerie Steele, director of the Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology, said many of Jean’s ideas could be replicated in the US and elsewhere.
Steele, who has some of Jean’s creations in the collection, taped a conversation with the Italian designer for Black History Month, which will be posted on FIT’s YouTube channel on Thursday to highlight Jean’s role in shaking up Italian fashion.