Zim Fashion Week roars to life

HARARE - All is set for the Zimbabwe Fashion Week (ZFW) that begins in Harare today (Thursday) running until Sunday with almost 20 local and international designers expected to showcase their collections.

The country’s prime fashion event will run five shows per day and fashion enthusiasts will see local designers take to the runway, with inspiring labels featuring the latest trends in all categories including glamorous garments, ready-to-wear pieces, high fashion and the latest developments in menswear.

Running under the theme “Fashion Redefined” the premier fashion event rated third in Africa, will also attract fashion entrepreneurs, local and international buyers, bloggers, industry professionals, and local and international media to preview the trends that will define the future in terms of design and the fashion trends and developments in the Zimbabwean and African fashion industry.

The glamorous event will be staged at the upmarket Palm Estate in Helensvale, Borrowdale and the scene is set for an unforgettable experience for the fashion-savvy enthusiasts embracing young and upcoming designers.

According to the founder and executive producer of Zimbabwe Fashion Week, Priscilla Chigariro-Gessen, this year’s event will by far surpass previous ones.

“Zimbabwe Fashion Week is arguably the most significant industry event in Zimbabwe and in recent years, has become the most important and influential of Zimbabwe’s fashion, style and textile cultural events, making it a “must-attend” on Zimbabwe’s corporate-social calendar.

“Despite having faced a series of challenges, ZFW has grown from strength to strength since its inception in 2009. This year, we usher in the 6th Edition of what has been acknowledged as the third best Fashion Week in Africa with much pizzazz and we are confident that this year ZFW will surpass the previous successes and raise Zimbabwe’s flag further.”

The event has over the years created a platform for Zimbabwean and regional designers to showcase their work and boost the rekindling of what was once a thriving textile and fashion industry anchored in Zimbabwe.

A total of 41 top international models from Zimbabwe, Botswana, Uganda, Zambia, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States of America have confirmed their participation at the must-attend glamorous event.

Chigariro-Gessen, an international supermodel, said this year’s theme redefines fashion by looking to and focusing on forgotten or unknown tribes around the world.

For many years, fashion has looked to dominant areas of our lives such as popular sport, music, architecture, movies and fine art for inspiration and this year’s event ushers a new perspective.

“These forgotten tribes employ their own unique fashion technique utilising the natural elements around them — from leaves, flowers and fruits to create intricate head-dresses, to body art, shells and seedpods for jewellery, and feathers, fur and skin for uniquely-crafted garments symbolic to each tribe’s respective custom.”

The month-long young designers’ programme that has been running prior to the main event highlighted the different tribes that make up Zimbabwe and how they can effectively communicate their culture through fashion. The tribes that were being represented at this year’s fashion week are Shona, Ndebele, Nambya, Ndau, Tonga, Kalanga and Chewa.

The young designers this year were tasked with highlighting the nuances of each tribe through beadwork, fabric and make-up.

They were urged to pay attention to detail to ensure that their representation of each tribe was factual and correct.

Local music superstar Oliver Mtukudzi will also get a chance to showcase stage outfits that he has designed from the early days of his career to the present.

ZFW has, over the years, fostered designer partnerships with local fashion retailers and launched the Fashion Fusion Programme which is similar to the SA Fashion Week Fusion.

It has also partnered with Africa Fashion International while the South African embassy in Harare recognises ZFW as its official partner in Zimbabwe.

Top designers at this year’s event will also get a chance to showcase at AFI in Johannesburg.


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