HARARE - Scores of fashion designers of Zimbabwean heritage in the United Kingdom are expected to throng the second edition of the Zimbabwe Fashion Showcase (ZFS) that will take place in Birmingham from July 28-30 this year.
The ZFS founder Chiedza Dawn Ziyambe has promised a much better event than the inaugural one that was graced by New York-based Zimbabwean designer Farai Simoyi who has previously worked with pop star Beyonce and hip-hop artist Nicki Minaj.
“ZFS returns with a packed schedule of fashion shows by designers of Zimbabwean heritage, business in fashion workshops, competitions and shopping.
“This year, we are doing things a little different, we will definitely have big name designers showcasing, however, we are more focused on shining the spotlight on emerging designers. We are going to be featuring some amazing designers who are based in Zimbabwe,” she told the Daily News.
Ziyambe said she created the fashion showcase to create a platform for established and emerging designers of Zimbabwean descent regardless of their location.
“What motivated me is quite personal in the sense that the Zimbabwe Fashion Showcase was born out of my personal struggles. I designed a lingerie collection, created my brand yet I had no platform to showcase it.
“The market is saturated with fashion shows yet they are not accessible to the everyday woman. I wanted a platform to showcase my work; moreover, I wanted a sense of familiarity, which seemed an impossibility in the Diaspora.
“I was also frustrated by the fact that there were so many talented Zimbabwean designers, who do not necessarily fit in the stereotypical designer mould who lacked the platform to showcase their creativity, skills and artisanship,” she said.
Ziyambe added that her fashion event was different from the Zimbabwe Fashion Week.
“We differ from the Fashion Week in terms of our global reach, we are based in the UK and our aim is to catapult Zimbabwean designers onto the global fashion scene. While we are a business, we want to ensure that designers are equipped with tools and resources through our mentorship scheme,” she added.
According to the ZFS founder, the event is geared towards enabling designers to engage with the consumer and afford them the opportunity to showcase their products on ZFS social media platforms.
“We are also working towards creating a designer mentorship scheme and a scholarship for extremely talented designers who are marginalised due to economic constraints.
“The event really is a great day out where apart from meeting established and emerging designers, one can watch an exquisite fashion show and enjoy delicious food and great music,” Ziyambe said.