Nigeria Tam Tam: Nigeria's ghettos.....

Creating glamor in Nigeria's ghettos

By Lauren Said-Moorhouse, CNN

(CNN) -- In the ghettos of the Niger Delta, one woman is on a mission to bring glamor to the region while at the same time educating and inspiring promising young talent from the area.

Caterina Bortolussi has always been interested in fashion. But what started as the dream of a young girl from a small town outside of Venice, Italy, has become a reality years later in the ghettos of Port Harcourt in the south of Nigeria.

 In December 2010, Bortolussi started her fashion label Kinabuti. With designs inspired by Nigeria, reflecting the vibrant colors and traditions of Africa, Bortolussi decided on an ethical twist to her organization.

She wanted to use fashion as an instrument for change in the region.

"I thought, 'Why can't we use fashion as a vehicle to make a difference?' We should lead by example," says Bortolussi.

"We should do something that will make a difference and inspire other people. That is what I want to do with Kinabuti: positive action."

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The label's ethos is to engage with the local community as well as provide opportunities and training to the people who need it most, says Bortolussi.

She held casting sessions in various local communities, choosing 21 young girls aged 16 to 25.

With no prior experience in modeling, they underwent training at "Buti Camp" in professional skills such as make up and hairstyling, runway walking, posing and other fundamental tricks of the trade.

These women became the "Kinabuti girls" and work with the label to promote and model the designs.

Their role also gives them the opportunity to meet people, work with other designers and learn skills to take with them in the future. ...Read More...