South Africa-based Zimbabwean designer, Thembani Mubochwa says he has shifted focus to local celebrities and politicians.
By Our Staff
Mubochwa was speaking after the eighth edition of the SABC Crown Gospel Awards that were held at the Durban International Conference Centre in the port city where he dressed several celebrities.
Among the celebrities he dressed were Sipho Kaleni, the chief executive officer of the awards, self-styled sangoma Ezika Bhaka Nzama, Dumi Mukostad, Thinah Zungu and his wife, former Muvhango actress Anniki Chikob, as well as Rich Mhlongo.
Mubochwa told The Standard Style last week he had already started making inroads with local celebrities and politicians and is soon to introduce his new Presidential Collection that caters for both men and women of all ages.
Although he preferred not to delve much into the deal, The Standard Style understands he is working with Water and Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri on her new look.
“As of now, we cannot talk much about that as we are still working on it. I have been working on it, but yes, we have the Presidential Collection that is inspired by the presidential look. All we are saying with this is we want our leaders, particularly in Africa, to do more about their look or image as this is very important,” said Mubochwa.
“So I saw it wise to start with our own country Zimbabwe because I believe it is more important to see our leaders leading us as well on image and fashion and Honourable Muchinguri became the first leader to wear the Thembani Mubochwa Presidential Collection.”
He said he wants to bring in a new unique and classy, tailored, exclusive and trendy look that still fits into a formal set up.
The award-winning designer said the move will see local leaders setting fashion trends wherever they go, as well as making serious homegrown fashion statements that still appeal internationally.
He said with the current scenario, “we are empowering international designers at the expense of locals”.
He said given the chance and support, local designers have what it takes to make it big and it was important for local people to support their own.
Mubochwa said it was also the duty of local designers to play their part in the building of the fashion industry in their preferred way.
“Fashion is a serious part of any serious economy the world over and because we are behind, we are tempted to think it can be separated from what people call [bread and butter issues] in Zimbabwe yet it actually is taking care of families and taking other countries far,” he said.
“Even the local textile industry can benefit immensely and that also will benefit the cotton farmers that are grappling with the falling international prices.”
Mubochwa has so far worked with local celebrities, among them radio personality Hanzvinei Sakarombe, the late Sam Mtukudzi, his sister Selmor, Tendai Manatsa, Trevor Dongo, Timothy Hogo and Tatenda Mahachi, among others.
“I am so happy and humbled to have worked with so many people, as well as getting to work with leaders like Honourable Muchinguri,” said Mubochwa.
His manager Hillary Chengeta said they were also inviting fashion retailers to engage them so that they can get their designs onto the shelves.