IOM presents the capsule collection titled ‘7,689 km – from Kabul to Berlin’

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) presented today, during a Press Conference held in Florence, the capsule collection “7,689 km – from Kabul to Berlin”, an event organized together with the Polimoda fashion school and hosted by the winter Edition of Pitti Uomo, “Pitti Immagine Uomo 105”.

The event has been organized in the framework of “No Nation Fashion”, a sustainable fashion brand powered by IOM  and aimed at celebrating diversity through the creation of an unusual, original collection assembled and made by migrants and asylum seekers hosted at reception centers in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The sustainable capsule collection has been specifically developed in collaboration with the students of the Polimoda Fashion School in Florence and shows unique perspectives, meeting of personal and professional backgrounds, contributions and achievements, as well as hopes and dreams of people who left their homes and strive to build their lives elsewhere strengthening a new and valuable public narrative and gives voice to migrants.

The speakers at the press presentation were Mr. Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Immagine, Mrs. Laura Lungarotti (Western Balkans coordinator IOM-UN migration Agency) and Mr. Niccolò Sbaraglia (Head of Commercial Development Polimoda School in Florence.

“The story of ‘No Nation Fashion’ started in the migrant reception facilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina in June 2021, explained Laura Lungarotti, Sub-Regional Coordinator for the Western Balkans and Chief of Mission of the IOM office in Sarajevo. “At the time IOM, with support from the European Commission’s Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI), established sewing corners for people to meaningfully spend their time, getting the chance to improve their sewing skills. Soon after their establishment, the sewing corners rapidly grew into fashion studios. The creativity and interest of migrants combined with the dedication, enthusiasm and cultural expression of local artists and designers led to a bold, innovative idea: to create a unique fashion brand in Bosnia and Herzegovina”.

“Our message is that migration is a human phenomenon shaping today’s economy, including fashion”, underlined Mrs. Lungarotti.

“It’s the first time we’ve done something like this,” said Raffaello Napoleone, CEO of Pitti Uomo, “We really believe in it. The idea is to put these migrants in a position to produce, deliver and enter the market circuit”.

The name of the collection “7,689 km – from Kabul to Berlin” echoes the kilometers walked by migrants from Kabul to Berlin passing through the Western Balkans and specifically Bosnia and Herzegovina. The majority of those who are passing through the Balkans are Afghanis and they all aim at Germany as their final destination. Other migrants come from Pakistan, Morocco, and Bangladesh. This capsule collection was inspired by their human stories, their lives and aspirations.

No Nation Fashion (NNF) is a sustainable fashion brand born in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) from the collaboration and creativity of migrants and local designers and powered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

NNF’s mission is to create clothing items that celebrate the meeting of cultures and harness the potential of migration. NNF ateliers hosted in Temporary Reception Centers (TRCs) offer migrants a safe space to express their creativity and learn new skills, but also opportunities for exchanges with local and international artists and host communities. Since its establishment in 2021, NNF realized a number of collaborations with fashion designers from all over Europe, including joint collections, fashion shows and a summer school on sustainable fashion.

The establishment of No Nation Fashion is supported by the European Union as well as other donors such as the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Qatar Charity and other friends in Bosnia and Herzegovina, stated the IOM.