Zim designer sets up African fashion fund

HARARE - Daily News columnist Pamela Samasuwo-Nyawiri has used proceeds from the lucrative Nottingham Trent University Vice-Chancellor’s Award she won recently to set up a fund to assist emerging African fashion and accessory designers.

Samasuwo-Nyawiri, who graduated in Fashion Accessory Design on July 25, has created the Generation Africa Fashion Fund which will be spearheaded by her non-profit association called 54faces.

“The Generation Africa Fashion Fund will fund the 54faces Fashion Fund and the 54faces Scholarship Fund,” said the highly-acclaimed fashion designer who contributes the 263 Voices Column in the Daily News.

“If you are an African fashion designer or of African descent and have been designing for less than five years, with a turnover of under $50 000, you are eligible to enter.”

The Zimbabwe-born designer, who founded the Vanhu Vamwe luxury handbag label, told the Daily News that a selection committee will annually select three emerging fashion designers.

“The winner will get $10 000 with two runners-up getting $5 000 each.

“Apart from the prize money, the winners will receive business mentoring from an established team of fashion industry professionals, in areas such as business planning, marketing, sourcing, production, exporting and to encourage and enable the recipients to pursue his/her own independent design plan .

“Award recipients are selected by a committee of industry experts, based on the exceptional talent and capacity for future distinction in the fashion industry.

“Many up and coming African fashion designers in their desire to grow their business face huge financial barriers. 54faces answers a real need to help talented young designers on the road to success.”

The 38-year-old Samasuwo-Nyawiri, a former British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) journalist, has been considered for a string of awards this year.

She won the Zimbabwe International Women’s Awards (Ziwa) Fashion Designer of the Year gong.

Early this year the United Kingdom-based fashion designer was the first African to be nominated for the prestigious Vogue and Muuse Talents Young Vision Accessories Award.

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