Kinabuti Models in Famous Pose

Models walk a zebra crossing during the KLM Dare2Dream Milan Experience which is reminiscent of the Beatles and their famous Abbey Road pose.

Collection made by women and students from disadvantaged communities in Nigeria.


Italian-Nigerian fashion house Kinabuti was founded in 2010 by Caterina Bortolussi and Francesca Rosset with the aim of using fashion as a vehicle for development and empowerment. The story of the label began just over 10 years ago when Caterina and Francesca two Italian ladies born and raised in the same Italian village called Spilimbergo found themselves living in Nigeria. With an interest in fashion and wanting to help those from less privileged backgrounds the ladies decided to set Kinabuti to carry out their vision.

Firstly, they produce ‘In our ghetto’, a docu-film presented during Venice International Film Festival that is set in the most disadvantaged communities in Nigeria and tells the story of their first social project when they scout for models in the slums of Port Harcourt, girls that now go to university and work in fashion and entertainment. Then the Kinabuti atelier was set up in Lagos, where Caterina and Francesca started creating their first collection and continue their social projects with women and youths in disadvantaged communities of Lagos, teaching silkscreening, sewing, cutting patterns, cinematography, batik and tie-dye. Fashion is seen as a vehicle for empowerment and development in a Nigeria where the challenges are not running short.

At the end of each project students are given contracts to produce for Kinabuti a mini collection and till today, the most reliable and professional continue collaborating with the label and become MSMEs (micro, small, medium enterprises). Caterina and Francesca love what they do and have ventured to work in the most dangerous areas without escorts, pick up rubbish in the streets with the people to share the values of environmental respect, looked for sponsors to support elementary and nursery schools in poor suburbs of Lagos, produced a TV-online reality show called Dare2Dream, to inspire the youths to dream and achieve their goals. Caterina and Francesca put belief, passion, energy and faith in God to support what they do and dream of a Kinabuti based in Nigeria and distributed all over the world, their style and story is unique like their clothes, a mix of African Fashion and italian Style to become Afro Urban.

Their Last Collection is called Spilimbergo and it is inspired by the place where the story of the women started, the village where they were born and grew up with their families who transferred to them the values of working hard, never give up and believing in their dream. Through fashion Kinabuti is able to support projects of empowerment that can create development through MSME in the communities of Nigeria so they never stop dreaming and make the others dream too.

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