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Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images.

Austrian-Nigerian Designer Kenneth Ize Makes Spectacular Debut at Paris Fashion Week

The designer topped off his debut by having supermodel Naomi Campbell walk the runway.

Last night, Austrian-Nigerian fashion designer Kenneth Ize debuted at Paris Fashion week and put on an undeniably spectacular show.

The designer wowed with his Autumn/Winter '20 collection and then topped it all off by having international supermodel Naomi Campbell walk the run way last and bring the show to a close.


Ize, who is also a 2019 LVHMH Prize finalist, brought to life the vibrant colors and rich textures of the aso oke material that he's become known for when creating his signature ensembles.

Speaking in an interview with Vogue about what had inspired his collection, Ize says:

"I tried to reflect back to the time when [my family and I] were in Africa and how things changed all of a sudden when we moved to Europe. My mother stopped wearing African outfits every day, only wearing them on Sundays. On Mondays, she would go to work in corporate clothing and be a completely different person. She was always so looking forward to Sundays because it was the only time she could really express where she was from and her culture."

Campbell took to social media to congratulate the designer after the show. In an instagram post, she wrote, "Congratulations [Kenneth Ize] on your first show in Paris today. I'm so proud of you. Beautiful collection, thank you. For the first time the seasonal collections in Paris have 3 AFRICAN DESIGNERS."

South African designer and winner of the 2019 LVMH Prize, Thebe Magugu, currently has a special presentation of his work at Paris Fashion Week while Cameroonian designer Imane Ayissi, according to TimesLIVE, made history by "becoming the first Black African designer to be admitted to the elite ranks of Paris haute couture".

Describing the massive opportunity to have Campbell walk the runway in his collection, Ize said, "I am living my dream. Naomi made this happen." Ize also went on to add that, "She has been part of the journey since day one. She is very supportive. She is my fairy godmother."

While Ize's feats on the Parisian runways bear testament to his considerable talent, his eponymous label undoubtedly laid the foundation years back.

Op-Ed
Photography by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Price to Pay: The Complicated Relationship Between Ambitiouz Entertainment and South Africa’s Music Scene

Through all the horror stories shared by artists, it's impossible to overlook Ambitiouz Entertainment's contribution to South African music.

One of the biggest South African songs at the moment boasts a lineup of artists that blend styles for a smooth collaboration. With verses for the heads and a catchy hook for the radio, "Price to Pay" by Miss Pru DJ features the duo Blaq Diamond and Lesotho-born rapper Malome Vector.

A quintessential Ambitiouz Entertainment song, "Price to Pay" feels like 2016/2017 all over again, even if it's for just above five minutes. When Ambitiouz started circa 2015, a majority of its hip-hop artists—Emtee, Saudi, Sjava, FiFi Cooper, and others—were doing trap rap, mostly in native languages. Even A-Reece, who raps almost exclusively in English now, threw a few SePitori phrases in his rhymes. Singles such as "Tshela" and "Smokolo" released by the rapper Priddy Ugly under Ambitiouz were his first experiments with adding native languages in his verses beyond hooks.

While streaming "Price to Pay" and other songs released by Ambitiouz Entertainment, however, one wonders if, years from now, Malome Vector and Blaq Diamond will be sharing horror stories of working with the label, just like many of its previous signings.

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