BY CHELSEA MUSAFARE
RISING fashion designer and founder of Afro Phoenix brand, Blessing Munjeri has raised concern over lack of funding to showcase his talent internationally.
Munjeri told the Standard Style that he has lost a number of good opportunities to showcase local brands on a global platform.
“I had an opportunity to go to Jamaica this year in April to attend Mr and Miss Tourism and I had to dress a few models there. I was also to attend a Fashion week in Nigeria but I could not find any sponsors to get a visa and ticket,” he said.
“I am appealing to those who can assist me, sponsors who would like to help me put Zimbabwe on the map through my brand to come and help so that we can take it to the next level and not miss any other forthcoming opportunities in life.”
The 31-year-old designer who has been in the fashion industry for a year said he hoped his recently launched high-end clothing brand would be marketable not only locally but also in the region and internationally.
He said the idea to launch the male clothing trademark was inspired by his desire to promote African beauty and culture.
“One sees a man who is proud of being African when they see our brand. It has a bit of a Western touch so I can say Afro Phoenix is for every man around the world who loves African culture,” he said.
“What motivated me to go for male African wear leaving other fashion categories is that, we wanted to bring back our culture as we are proudly African. My focus is on making unique outfits for men since the fashion industry is focused more on women and for a change I want men to look great, rock my brand and have heads turning. Not being able to find the type of clothes that I wanted is also another thing that inspired my brand.
“Our designs range from shirts, shorts, fanny packs, blazers, college jackets and trench coats and we cater for age groups 18 and above as we seek to provide the best to our clients. Soon we will be launching Afro Phoenix boxers.”
Just like any other trade, Munjeri said he had also encountered several challenges.
“however when we fall, we dust ourselves and come back stronger. The journey has been wonderful as I get to learn new things every day and get to grow as a designer. I appreciate the love and support I am getting, the way people now believe in my brand as they now have faith in it is truly a blessing. I have so much respect for every designer in the world because it is not an easy job and it takes a lot to be a great designer, so to all my fellow designers I salute you all,” he said.
The fashion designer has so far dressed reigning Mister Supranational Zimbabwe (2021) Tatenda Njanike and has also worked with former Mr Zimbabwe finalist Calvin Nare.
He he is hoping to work with Revenge Fashion Brand and Vic Tacks Brands as they have fresh, trending, focused and on point designs.