Mariah Idrissi to host celebration of African change-makers

Mariah Idrissi is set to host an event in New York. (Instagram)
Updated 02 October 2018
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Mariah Idrissi to host celebration of African change-makers

  • Mariah Idrissi is set to host a MIPAD event in New York on Wednesday night
  • Idrissi made headlines in 2015 when she became the first model to wear a hijab in a major international fashion campaign

DUBAI:British-Moroccan model Mariah Idrissi is set to host a Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) event in New York on Wednesday night.

The event, which is set to honor the most influential people of African descent under the age of 40, will be held at the One UN Millennium Hilton Hotel and will be co-hosted by business mogul and self-described “leadership genius” Vusi Thembekwayo.

The event will also feature a valedictorian speech by Fatima Maada Bio, the first lady of Sierra Leone and an actress, screenwriter and film producer.

Other influential speakers include Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda and chairman of the African Union. Meanwhile, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Atta Annan is set to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for Recognition.

For her part, Idrissi took to Instagram to express her gratitude toward the organization.

“Honored to be part of a network connecting Africans globally who are creating positive change for people of African heritage. The influence starts with us first changing ourselves and I thank @mipad100 @unitednations and @momentumeducation for providing us with the tools and knowledge to help us become the best versions of ourselves!”

Her co-host took to the social media site to share a friendly message.

“Made a new friend .... actually, built a new family,” Thembekwayo captioned a photo in which he is posting with Idrissi.

The evening will end with a special screening of Marvel blockbuster “Black Panther” as the event celebrates the UN’s International Decade for People of African Descent.

Born and raised in London, Idrissi is of Moroccan-Pakistani descent and made headlines in 2015 when she became the first model to wear a hijab in a major international fashion campaign, starring in H&M’s “Close the Loop” adverts.
Since then, the 26-year-old has been at the forefront of the modest fashion movement, stylishly representing contemporary Muslim women and working with major retailers including MAC cosmetics and ASOS. She also featured in Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty campaign.
Idrissi has also established herself as an international public speaker promoting female empowerment. Her talk at TEDxTeen in 2016 — “Changing the Face of Fashion” — gained global media attention.
Referring to the feedback from her H&M campaign in that talk, she said, “It made me realize that I’m not only a hijabi model, I’ve also had this weight placed on me as a spokeswoman for hijab, for modesty, for fashion, for Islam… And, of course, I wouldn’t change it for the world, but it shows me that we still have a long way to go in changing people’s mentalities.”


Louis Vuitton pulls Michael Jackson-themed items from collection

Michael Jackson was accused of child abuse in a new documentary ‘Leaving Neverland’. Above, the pop star sings with children during a June 1999 charity concert in Seoul, South Korea. (AFP)
Updated 18 March 2019
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Louis Vuitton pulls Michael Jackson-themed items from collection

  • The collection was shown in January at the Paris Fashion week and is due to hit stores in June
  • A Louis Vuitton spokeswoman said the Jackson-themed items would not be put up for sale

PARIS: French fashion house Louis Vuitton has pulled Michael Jackson-themed items from its 2019 summer menswear collection following a documentary about alleged child abuse by the late pop star.
The collection was shown in January at the Paris Fashion week and is due to hit stores in June, but a Louis Vuitton spokeswoman said the Jackson-themed items would not be put up for sale.
Louis Vuitton said that at the time of the event, it was not aware of the “Leaving Neverland” documentary, in which two adult men say they were befriended by Jackson and abused by him in the early 1990s.
“I am aware that in light of this documentary, the show has caused emotional reactions. I strictly condemn any form of child abuse, violence or infringement against any human rights,” Louis Vuitton menswear designer Virgil Abloh said in a statement.
Abloh, an American designer who was hired by Vuitton in March 2018, said his intention for this show had been to refer to Jackson as a pop culture artist.
The documentary has caused a backlash against Jackson’s legacy, as some radio stations stopped playing his music and an episode of “The Simpsons” cartoon show featuring his voice is being pulled from future broadcasts.
Jackson’s family has called the documentary and news coverage of the accusations a “public lynching” and said he was “100 percent innocent.”
“We find the allegations in the documentary deeply troubling,” Louis Vuitton CEO Michael Burke said, adding that the firm is fully committed to advocating the cause of child welfare.
Louis Vuitton is the world’s biggest luxury brand, with annual sales of more than 10 billion euros, and is the biggest revenue driver for its parent company, French luxury goods group LVMH.
The menswear unit is a relatively small part of its business and pulling the Jackson-themed items should not have a major impact on the label.