With the third edition of Black History Month Florence now underway, we spotlight several African-angled businesses in the Tuscan capital. See our full events special for BHMF here.
Via Panicale 14
Frontwoman-owner Tina is the high priestess of hair in via Panicale, with the consistent braiding clientele to prove it. Her salon has been active for the full two decades she’s been in Florence, running largely on return customers who bring the beauty shop banter. She politely declined our request to take her portrait, cracking: “My picture’s already everywhere. I’m the Black Queen.”
Via San Iacopino 12
Ph. Giacomo Badiani
Beloved among Florence’s culinary-curious, Corno d’Africa is owned by a pair of longtime lovebirds who opened this Eritrean-Ethiopian restaurant on Valentine’s Day in 2009. Almaz (of Eritrean origin) singlehandedly runs the kitchen, with her Florentine beau Franco keeping tabs on the house. Hospitality (toward an overwhelmingly Italian customer base) is everything at Corno d’Africa: as Almaz insists, it’s not in her nature to ask houseguests when they’re leaving.
Via Vincenzo Gioberti 61 + at Mimi Furaha, borgo degli Albizi 35r
The brainchild of Italian anthropologist and stylist Maria Cristina Manca, Waxmore is a vibrant line of clothing, accessories and home goods combining Italian textiles with African wax print fabrics. Its via Gioberti showroom opened in November 2017, after a six-month job training for Samba, Youssif, Kayally and Ousman—all asylum seekers hailing from different parts of Africa. Ousman and Youssif have since joined the team of Italian tailors as apprentices, and another training is in the pipeline for 2018, pending funding.