Kibonen Nfi is the brain behind one of Africa’s most original emerging fashion labels, KibonenǀNY, and will be presenting “Multifarious” her SS2015 collection at the coveted Art Institute NYC Mercedes Benz Fashion Week taking place in the Theatres at Lincoln Centre on Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 8pm prompt.
Kibonen’s participation at Mercedes Benz Fashion week comes at the heels of a rigorous audition process organized by the Art Institutes of NYC. As a student at the renowned Art Institute, Kibonen’s designs undoubtedly outshined over 60 of her peers, of who auditioned. Kibonen joins the list of the few designers of African heritage who have showcased on this platform.
In 2009 Kibonen became a force to reckon with when she came up with the ingenious idea to revolutionize the “Toghu”, also known as the “royal regalia” worn by the Tikar people of the Bamileke and Bamenda regions of Cameroon, West African. This has been her core signature, blending these traditional prints and symbols with more modern silhouettes and contemporary designs.
In order to further develop her brand vision and how to tap deeper into her creative sphere, the African Fashion International nominee, Emerging Designer of the Year 2013 and Cameroon Academy Awards Winner of Designer of the year 2013, got enrolled into the Art Institute NYC. This journey of learning, networking, mentoring and building a creative family is very deep to Kibonen as she strives to reach the top of the fashion chain. Today creating pieces that not only represent the Cameroonian tribes, but garments wearable and appreciated by the ultra-modern client is Nfi’s goal.
Through her “Multifarious” collection, we go through the representation of rural and royal scenes in a way that can be consumed in the comforts of our daily luxurious lives. Using bright colored authentic African prints as well as creating her own textile designs to Kibonen also portrays the amazing continent Africa is in spite of all odds.
The likes of Cameroonian Born NBA star, Luc Amoute will be sitting front row at the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week NY to support his fellow Cameroonian.
During an early encounter at the NYU Africa Economic Forum in 2014, Luc was introduced to Kibonen by his brother and immediately noticed they shared one thing in common. Impressed by her deep knowledge for fashion and perfect articulation of her goals in fashion and the African fashion industry, he thought his brother would be interested in meeting Kibonen. United by their Cameroonian heritage, Luc and Kibonen believe in developing and inspiring the youth in order to secure a brighter future.
While Luc’s career in the NBA is still young, Luc has a deep love for Cameroon and while on the court he is already thinking of how he can use his position in the NBA to help those in need. He hopes to return to Cameroon and use his resources to help and improve the education of many of his fellow Cameroonians. Luc believes that Africans are less inclined to collaborate, support each other and grow together. He is convinced that supporting rising talents is a key to ensuring a more sustainable community. He hopes to pioneer a movement of Africans working together and supporting each other.
Luc has stayed true to his commitment by continuously mentoring young talents such as Joel Embiid who recently got drafted into the NBA and whom he shall keep mentoring as he joins him at the Philadelphia Sixers. Luc believes children are the future of tomorrow and he is deeply committed to helping them get an education in order to secure a brighter future. He also just came back from Cameroon where he ran his Luc Mbah a Moute Basketball Camp. Luc’s heart lies in Cameroon and hopes to be an ambassador for Cameroon – serve as a bridge in building partnerships and sharing Cameroon’s vibrant history.
On a more fun note Luc and friends will be hosting Kibonen’s after party together with Rosemary Kokuhilwa of www.fashionjunkii.com and Ed Kavishe of www.fashionwirepress.com at The Revel NYC. This event will also be a fund raiser with proceeds benefiting Kibonen’s project “ Made In Camer” which aims increasing the capacity and quality of the fair trade the apparel manufacturing plant in Cameroon which hires and develops young people in industrial manufacturing. This is in an attempt to help create jobs, develop the youth and help fight poverty in Cameroon.
Kibonen has showcased her talent at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in South Africa – 2012, 2013, has been featured in BBC- focus on Africa, GQ Style SA, the New African Woman Magazine and her work has been in exhibitions at the National Museum of African Art – Smithsonian Institution. She is currently an intern at Donna Karan Atelier where she works on designs for celebrity clients. Kibonen is very passionate about helping to develop the fashion industry in Cameroon, which she does through the “Made in Camer” Fair Trade apparel manufacturing plant.
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