IN a country saddled with harrowing economic woes and liquidity challenges, Lady Ceekay — a local fashion designer — is keeping afloat.
By Fidelity Mhlanga
Cecilia Kwashira (32) studied cutting and designing at Kudanana Technical College in Mutare in 2002.
She moved to Harare and started her business in 2005 at her backyard, serving a small niche of clients from her neighbourhood.
In 2008, Lady Ceekay, as she is now affectionately known by her legion of clients, after getting appreciation from her customers an element of growing her business entered her mind.
She feels she has the aptitude to deliver her service to a better and bigger clientele consisting of businesspeople and the working class in Harare.
“I can’t complain. My things are flourishing despite the harsh economic situation prevailing in the country. Clients are coming. I design for business people and company executives. My work keeps progressing because people appreciate my talent,” she said.
Besides having gone through the learning processes of cutting and designing, she feels art runs in her family.
“My mother knew that I had the talent in me and encouraged me to do it. I later realised that I inherited it from my family. My mother’s family is into fashion and design, so at the end I am not a designer by profession, but by talent,” she said.
Some fashion maniacs know Lady Ceekay as an exquisite designer, whose cool mettle has stood the test of time
Her services has attracted those in South Africa, Australia, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom who are now engrossed with her talent.
She tapped into the diaspora market through a Facebook page Lady Ceekay Executive Couture, where she is getting overwhelming enquiries.
Lady Ceekay sees herself as a force to reckon with in the fashion circles by designing dresses, shirts, formal suits, African suits for men as well as formal wear, bridal wedding gown and bridemaid dresses.
She is a founder of Lady Ceekay brand, whose modernist thought, practical design and pursuit of expensive simplicity has made her important and influential.
The fashion designer senses with time she can make huge inroads in the fashion industry like famous designers such as Carolina Herrera, Coco Chanel , Donna Karan, Donatella Versace and Stella McCartney
Lady Ceekay is known for utilising neat designs to achieve a traditional style with modern influence.
Having done design for local models and celebrities, she feels she has a lot to offer in the cut-throat industry.
She is optimistic that she will navigate through and open a clothing factory and retail shop similar to prominent Edgar’s stores in the future.
Lady Ceekay participated at the Southern African Development Countries Fashion Week in September 2014 held at the Chapman Golf Club in Harare.
In July this year, she took part in the Nothing Wasted Ecofashion and Arts Exhibition hosted by Junior Chamber International held at the Germany Society in the capital.
The show attracted several designers from across the globe, mainly to exhibit clothes designed from recycled material.