Fashion chose me, Beauty stylist

BULAWAYO-BASED designer Debra Mpofu is a bundle of talent cutting across modelling, grooming and deportment. A graduate from Ricochet Modelling Agency, she is also a hairdresser and makeup artist. The Daily News on Sunday’s writer Jeffrey Muvundusi sat down with the beauty stylist to hear more about her artistic journey.

Q: Who inspires you most in the industry?

A: My dad was my source of inspiration. He was innovative and always wanted to give back his knowledge in designing. That is why David Tlale, a professional South African designer is also my inspiration. He is very innovative and takes fashion seriously.

Q: Why did you choose fashion designing as a profession?

A: I didn’t choose fashion designing, fashion chose me. It came naturally because I come from a designer’s family.

Q: Can you compare local designing standards to that of other countries; do you think Zimbabwe deserves to be counted amongst top designing countries?

A: The talent in Zimbabwe is of international standards but there are social and economic challenges. We need resources and support to be counted among top designing countries.

Q: Can someone survive on designing alone?

A: Given the right circumstances, one can survive on designing alone. I remain optimistic all times.

Q: Who is Debra?

A: I am Debra Mpofu, I was born and bred in Bulawayo. I am 28 years old. I went to Townsend Girls High and then studied Clothing technique at Macronet. In a nutshell, I would like to call myself a versatile artist.

Q: Tell us more about your career as a fashion designer?

A: It’s not always the artful way or arrangement of features that catapults one into true beauty but the cocktail mix of glamourisation and a good sense of fashion. My motto is “Dress to express”. Dress the way you want to be addressed. I am very passionate about fashion designing as I come from a designer background. My parents were both professional designers. As a young designer, it hasn’t been easy but I look to grow each day and find my breakthrough in the industry. I design and sew custom made garments under the label Famous Bolt. Mostly I do themed outfits for models, weddings and many other functions.

Q: Since you entered into professional designing what have you achieved so far?

A: Since I entered into professional designing I have managed to increase the people who admire and love my designs. My ambition to satisfy every client has also increased, so has been the quality of my products. I believe success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent persistence. Therefore I am determined to endure through failures and other obstacles.

Q: What’s the biggest mistake you have ever made in designing?

A: The mistake of rushing myself. You can’t rush art. It is a process that can’t be defined by time. I have learnt that, what I do as a designer it’s a form of art.

Q: Who are the other well-known designers that you have worked with? 

A: I have worked with Sidumiso Tshuma under the label Shadow wear; Bukhosi under the label Brandroom exclusive; Gift under the label Tribes and some designers who have not made a name but I still respect their work.

Q: Lastly, what are your wishes and aspirations in the industry?

A: I wish to grow and be known internationally. I aspire to be a trend setter in the industry.