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Zimbabwe Fashion Week getting better

August 29 saw the opening of the fourth edition of the three-day Zimbabwe Fashion Week (ZFW) that was held at Sam Levy’s Village.

Fashion and Beauty with Heather R

This is the only show of its kind in Zimbabwe and I must say, this year, they took it up a notch. The setup and overall outlook of the event, the lighting, sound and ambience were incredible.

They managed to reach out to a cosmopolitan audience.

The designers showcased some very remarkable designs. One could see the effort and creativity they put into their collections, as ones who take their work seriously. It is a pity that after the show one does not know where to find these designers because the majority of them are still working from home.

Some designers that showcased at the ZFW have also exhibited outside of Zimbabwe, for instance, Joyce Chimanye of Zuvva and Yemurai Mpinyuri. Their workmanship was immaculate, from the designs, the tailoring and the finish. There were others who have not done so yet, but should consider showcasing outside of Zimbabwe like Tafadzwa Moyo of Maurice Gracial.

I was also proud of our local talent, as well as the designers from within our region, Gavin Rajah, for instance. We have a wealth of designers locally and regionally, so it is great when we have an opportunity to see what they are up to.

The selection of entertainers was super with Ammara Brown opening for Joyce Chimanye’s Zuvva collection, Tehn Diamond and Junior Brown performing for Mucha Couture. Reverb 7, Fungai Nengare, as well as Vera Chisvo and VvCrossover accompanied by Tamara Dey, all performed at the ZFW awards on the Saturday night.

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What organisers, designer said about fashion week

The Zimbabwe Fashion Week opening night had some glitches and the cost per show was between US$15 and US$25. Each show lasted for about an hour. Heather Nota (HR) had a one-on-one with Rutendo Denise (RD), who handled public relations for ZFW

HR: Do you feel the event was adequately marketed? I do not remember hearing anything on radio or seeing anything on Facebook.

RD: There is always room and greater scope to market any event and this is one of the lessons for ZFW. There were mentions and interviews of ZFW 2013 on radio and we also had a series of collaborative social media campaigns (print media inclusive). However, as you correctly noted, there is room for more marketing, and this is something we are continuously improving on with each year.

HR: The cost of the event was steep for a number of people given it was for an hour only. What is the justification for the prices?

RD: The cost of putting together a production of that magnitude requires substantial amounts of capital which is borne by ZFW. Although there are many sponsors,
not all these sponsorships come in monetary form. The prices charged are a reflection of this as we also need to cover our overheads and other costs.

Heather Nota also spoke to Yemurai Mpinyuri (YM), of House of Yemurai, winner of the designer of the year award, about her experience at the ZFW.

HR: Was this your first showcase?

YM: No, it wasn’t. I was part of the very first ZFW in 2010 and I have also participated in various other showcases here in South Africa (Yemurai is based in South Africa), primarily buyers’ exhibitions because that is where I met boutique owners whom I supply my ready-to-wear range.

HR: What was your experience at the ZFW in comparison to the other shows you have showcased at?

YM: ZFW this year started off with some glitches, delays and a little disorganisation from the organisers and suppliers. Shows ran threehours behind time on the first night but they definitely made up for it. Each day just got better and better.

HR: How do you feel about winning your award?

YM: Winning the award was totally unexpected. I did not showcase at ZFW just to put on a show. I am just an artist trying to express myself in a way that comes so naturally to me. This collection was a journey for me.

The Designer of the Year Award was the icing on the cake.

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