Zuvva founder to open design school

HARARE - Fashion designer Joyce Chimanye, founder of Zuvva fashion label, will be opening a design school in the first quarter of this year.

Chimanye told the Daily News that it had been long overdue. It will also be a first of its kind in the country.

“This year, we will be opening the Zuvva Design School. I feel as a seasoned designer there is need for me to give back. The school will have many parts which include design for the amateurs, the already practising designers,” she said.

“There are a lot of areas that need to be addressed in the design and retail business and this is one of them. We need proper training schools for designers if we are to compete on the global scale.

“People need to go to school and fully learn the trade, rather than sit in your mother’s house and make stuff that people do not buy. Go to school, receive proper training, learn how to mend garments, stitch and all the tiny details,” she added.

Chimanye went into retail in 2004, but started the sewing business in 1991 and founded Zuvva in 1994.

She also worked at one of the clothing manufacturing companies in Kadoma.

Chimanye urged local designers to desist from the entitlement syndrome.

“People do not owe you anything, so you should not expect to be paid top dollar, especially when you are starting and haven’t fully established yourself.

“When I started, I would use my own funds and travel from Chegutu to Harare or any other place so that my work would be seen. I was very instrumental in Miss Zimbabwe’s wardrobe during Kiki Divaris’ time,” she said.

She spoke of how other countries supply to big retailers.

“When I went to Madagascar, all the countries at that conference were talking about how much they sell to the whole world.

“I met a buyer who said she only bought stuff from three African countries and more countries outside the continent. That got me thinking that we need to change the way we do things. Out of over 50 countries that top buyer buys from three?

“We need to perfect our garments so that they compete on a global scale. Our quality needs to be competitive.”

Chimanye has dressed many queens especially in the Miss Zimbabwe pageant.

She also provided some dresses for Miss Tourism Ashley Morgan, who recently competed at Miss Tourism International in Malasyia.

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