Kibonen Nfi – Fashion Designer, Kibonen|NY

The Cameroon Professional Society, CPS, is proud to recognize Ms. Kibonen Nfi, an exemplary Cameroonian professional.

Kibonen Nfi is the brain behind the brand KibonenǀNY.  As a designer, she is inspired by traditional Cameroonian garments, West African fabric and New York’s vibrant fashion scene.  Over five years ago she busted into the fashion scene with the never before seen ingenious idea of contemporizing one of the most delicate and intricate hand woven traditional garments of Cameroon western highlands region, the toghu.

She started out as one of the co-founders of KiRette Couture, which established her as a force to be reckoned with in the Cameroonian and West African fashion industry. In the fall of 2011, Kibonen decided to take her ideas to a higher level under the company name KibonenǀNY, hence, materializing her aesthetic vision by creating pieces that don’t only represent a Cameroonian tribe, but garments wearable and appreciated by the ultramodern West African Afropolitan.

Kibonen is a certified image consultant, and earned a Continuing Education Diploma in International Trade and Marketing at the Fashion Institute of Technology, a career path her father still struggles to comprehend. A serious career in Fashion is unfathomable in Cameroon, but this ideology is gradually changing thanks to pioneers like Kibonen, who have take upon themselves to cultivate and mature this untapped industry.

Besides being a designer, Kibonen realized that Cameroon is a country with abundant talent, unbelievable design aesthetics and beautiful people; yet over 49% of the population live in poverty. Ethical fashion could provide employment for many Cameroonians and give them fair wages, thus increasing their standards of living. Considering how untapped this industry is in Cameroon, Kibonen together with some collaborators formed the Cameroon Fashion Common Initiative Group and instigated the start-up of an ethical factory, “Made In Camer”, which today is an independent, charity based, eco and ethical clothing production unit that supports local talent as well as provides employment. This was another gripping factor that urged the formation of the brand. Having a fair trade production unit in Cameroon’s western grass fields in Bamenda not only helps develop the area but also increases trade between Cameroon and the US.

To Kibonen, “Taking African fashion industries to the level where the African values and supports the quality of her homemade brands will be our most valuable achievement, then our work will be too prominent for the world to ignore.”

Please visit www.facebook.com/kibonen to support Kibonen’s work as she makes Cameroon’s toghu attire a mainstay in high fashion.

Do you know any exemplary Cameroonian Professionals? Please send their profile to info@cpsociety.org