By Arnel Ian Dela Gente
In our contemporary world, culturally diverse, wide open and where it is easier to
travel, humans intersect in the world as in the streets of a city, but don’t always meet.
It is this idea of the modern crossover (Asseulènn in my native language) that
inspired this collection. The different checked fabrics are here used as a metaphor for
A collection where Haute Couture crosses sportswear, where masculine and
feminine, summer and winter are mixed, where the old meets the new, where cotton
fabrics hand dyed in Cameroon are together with sporty technical fabrics, where
bands of vintage Japanese kimono silk encounter bands of Ivorian “Kita”, where
luxurious silk taffeta for Haute Couture goes with very precious vintage Ewe “Kente”
of Ghana …
Fashion show : 7th of july 2017, 5 pm, Maison des Métallos, Paris
Make-up : Iman cosmetics by Diouda (iman-cosmetics.fr)
Hair : Nadine Mateky
Earings : Ruby Feathers (rubyfeathers.com)
Imane Ayissi was born in Cameroun, the son of a family of artists and sportsmen: his
father was a champion boxer, his mother had been elected Miss Cameroun in 1960
and his brothers and sisters are dancers and singers.
He was a member of the Ballet National du Cameroun and subsequently toured with
singers and choreographers, such as Patrick Dupont, which involved travelling to the
four corners of the world.
At the same time, he worked as a model, presenting the men’s collections of famous
luxury and pret-a-porter brands such as Cardin, Dior, Lanvin, Givenchy, Yves Saint-
Laurent and Valentino. He was also the subject of fashion features, advertising
campaigns and artistic projects in fashion shoots by famous photographers.
But, above all, it is to his work as a couturier and designer that he dedicates himself.
He became interested in fashion as a child in the Cameroun (it was there that he
made his first garments for his mother and subsequently for one of the largest
ateliers in the country). Since 1992, he has presented his “Couture” collections in
Paris which were sold on request and made-to-measure and, since the summer of
2007, in partnership with the designer and consultant, Jean Marc Chauve, he has
also presented a prêt-a-porter line, sold in several select shops in France, Japan and
He collaborates on a regular basis with other luxury brands (he created a line of
dresses for the presentation of the Swarovski collection of jewellery and accessories
at the Carousel de Louvre in Paris in 2004), but also with more accessible brand
labels such as Multiples (a French pret-à-porter label that sells at affordable prices)
or La Redoute.
The garments of Imane Ayissi’s « Couture » and prêt-à-porter lines, meld African
traditions and realities with western fashion. His collections, often featuring exotic
evocative names (Voodoo Mood, Idoutt…) combine craftsmanship, heritage materials
and fabrics and traditional African art inspirations together with his use of innovative
design. There is also often an infusion of typically African-style bricolage or recycling
work with references to Parisian Haute Couture and contemporary creativity
(Madeleine Vionnet, Cristobal Balenciaga,Yves Saint Laurent or Azzedine Alaïa are
some Imane Ayissi references) to create a fashion targeted to an international public.
Imane Ayissi is also involved in fashion training projects and the creation of a textile
industry designed to help foster economic growth in Africa, in particular in Cameroun.