Designer Nchimunya talks fashion

FASHION designer Nchimunya Chizyuka, 26, who is also the chief executive officer of Gourou de la Mode, believes the local fashion industry has huge potential to grow and create job opportunities.
Nchimunya, whose fashion label operates in Lusaka’s Chilenje, has dressed a number of top models such as Liyah Phiri, who recently won the World Miss Tourism Ambassador Africa in Thailand during the World Miss Tourism Ambassador pageant.
Liyah also won the Best National Costume Award at the same event, thanks to Nchimunya’s design.
“I have dressed Liyah Phiri and in Zimbabwe there is Pokelo, Male the Blog. In Zambia I have dressed quite a lot of people,” Nchimunya said.
“For now, I do not have any challenges in terms of competition, the only thing I have seen on the Zambian [fashion] market is that people are not creative. They like imitating things they are not even passionate about.”
Nchimunya, who is inspired by Zambian fashion businesses such as The Closet, says creativity and innovation is what will make a difference for Zambian fashion designers.
Nchimunya’s designs are biased towards women. She explains why this is so.
“Most men are not very good clientele when it comes to fashion,” she says. “But for women, they want something new all the time in their wardrobe. It takes time for men to come back for a new item.”
Still, Nchimunya admits that men are good customers indirectly as they normally buy for their women.
“People are ready to spend but they are let down because some fashion outlets stock low quality stuff,” she says. “People should concentrate much on quality.”
She says the fashion industry had the potential to contribute to job creation through sales promotion which engages youths on social media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp in attracting customers to the respective businesses.
“For instance, if you are a busy person, you engage someone to run your Facebook page, the more they bring customers, the more they get paid,” Nchimunya says. “It could be on commission basis, so the fashion industry creates jobs.”

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