Lena Nian and Starfit find diamond in the rough

Gambian photographer Lena Nian is one of the new age fashion photographers trying to create a new narrative about her country through its emerging fashion industry.

Her project ‘Diamond in the Rough’ sees her partnering with designer, Starfit and model Janiaba Barry to create a tribal inspired fashion editorial that combines her talents with a signature piece from his Spring 2016 collection debuted at the 2015 Gambia Fashion Week.

Nian has shown her photography work at several exhibitions, most recently the Madiba Mall in Mali.


The Starfit cape dress is heavily embossed with woven bracelets, bangles, jewellery and other totems of subsaharan rural life. Medoune Gaye, the designer has worked in the Gambian fashion industry since 2012 and has professional fashion training from Senegal. He has shown at the Dutch Design Week and is one Gambia’s most prominent designers.

Lena Nian Gambia 3 Gambia 4 Gambia 2

model: Jainaba Barry
Agency: Linguerr & Damel
Make up: Naboughal
Designer: Starfit
Photographer: Lena Nian

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