A Feel For Fashion: Lyna Ahanda

Interviews, Inspirations

Lyna Valérie Ahanda possesses the kind of soft power that involves mega celebrities and luxury fashion houses. Based between Paris and LA, the Cameroonian journalist and consultant has been working with international talents for more than two decades, brokering deals that range from global campaigns to magazine covers and brand collaborations. Occasionally, her Instagram will hint at a project with Justin Bieber or Rihanna; but Ahanda is primarily a paragon of discretion. As a journalist, she founded her own publication, LURVE magazine, which has featured the likes of Naomi Campbell, Ciara, Solange Knowles and Laetitia Casta on its covers.

What excites you in fashion right now?

To see more body types on the runway, on magazines covers. More brands dressing all bodies on red carpet. More inclusivity in general. There was this big shift after George Floyd’s death. Every brand decided to take a stand, but it actually took a few years for that to materialise on the runway and in campaign. I feel like the conversation is finally taking a significant turn. It is certainly not perfect and some brands still don’t get it, but the majority of them try. You can see that shift with more brands working with artists or athletes. And also, the funny association between fashion and the music industry. That is the power of street culture: customers and sales play a huge part in a brand’s success, but over the past few years the public opinion or what we call “hype” has become way more important. 

What is one reason to be optimistic about the state of fashion going forward?

The world is changing, slowly but surely. The idea that fashion will stay the same is impossible.

Designers are less political nowadays, but I think that trends are making a bigger impact. So what we see on the runway translates to meaningful moments in the streets. People are bolder, more creative.

In what ways do you think AI might benefit fashion? 

I have no idea. I like to live in the real world. 

Who or what will drive the greatest change in fashion this year?

Martine Rose. She is everything I love about fashion. She is the present and the future. 

Can you suggest a fashion mantra for ’24?

I think more than ever before, it’s “Be whoever you want to be.” Fashion allows us to fantasise the idea that we have of ourselves. To put on a costume for the day or forever. To break rules. To dream about being someone else even if it is just for a second.

This interview has been lightly edited.