"Wafrica" is a kimono fashion collection designed by Serge Mouangue, an interior designer and industrial designer/artist, born in Cameroon and living in France from the age of six. His love of his Central African heritage was always a key influence in his style. After touring much of the world, he became fascinated with Japanese culture while taking language courses in France, and eventually an opportunity came through the Nissan Motor Company for him to relocate to Japan. His interaction with Japanese artists lead him to create the Wafrica Collection.
The kimono of the Wafrica collection are almost exclusively Komon, utilizing African patterns and motifs, with traditional Japanese garment styles. A few haute couture garments displayed in runway shows step outside of traditional kimono shapes, but for the most part, they remain very authentic and respectful to both cultures, avoiding a 'costume'-like appearance.
Taken from the Wafrica website:
Wafrica aims to develop new means through which we celebrate diversity in harmony and peace. Wafrica search for ways to express a new aesthetic by the transformation of timeless iconic symbols.
In response to the argument that globalization may rob us of our cultural identity, a conversation between two ancient, strong and sophisticated identities: Japan and Africa. The conversation is about the beauty of weaving strands of our stories together.
Wafrica is about hope and embracing the possibilities made available when the unique treasures brought by each of us are juxtaposed to form a new and enlightened international consciousness.
Because Wafrica focuses on the cross of cultures, photography and fashion shows featuring the Wafrica collection use a mix of both Japanese and African models.