ZIO MWALE, Lusaka
OVER a period of three days, more than 1,000 fashionistas turned up at the Government Complex in Lusaka for the Vodafone and Afro-Multi Media-powered Zambia Fashion Week, which put a spotlight on the diversity and innovation of Zambian designers.
One of the main highlights of the fashion week was the Vodafone Challenge, in which over 20 designers participated in a competition focused on conceptualising and actualising garments with Vodafone’s signature brand colours of red, white and grey.
Lusungu Mudondo, emerged victorious and was presented with K5,000 by Vodafone Zambia chief marketing officer Michael Horup.
The Vodafone executive commended Lusungu for her creativity along with Karen Nakawala, who is the chief executive officer and founder of Afro Multi Media Productions, of which Zambia Fashion Week is an extension, for her contribution to Zambia’s growing fashion industry and its inevitable impact on economic growth.
Karen noted that with partners such as Vodafone, the fashion week had cultivated a loyal following within the target audience for local brands along with young discerning trend-setters, a phenomenon that would position the event as a powerhouse in the region.
“With partners like Vodafone Jump, I see Zambia Fashion Week becoming the hub of fashion in the Southern African region in the next five years and being compared to big shows such as Africa Fashion International, Mercedes Fashion Week, Swahili Fashion Week; this is not an impossible task,” she said.
As part of its sponsorship, Vodafone Jump ran a competition prior to the event aimed at giving upcoming designers the opportunity to showcase their designs; three designers, Malama Masase, Gibstar Makangila and Mwandwe Mwelwa emerged victorious and received a K2,500 cash injection.
Otherwise, designers from across the nation with varying styles were in full force over the three-day exhibition, fully embodying the event’s theme “Design Beyond the Ordinary”. Designers such as Nkhosi Nkosi from South Africa, and Nkanda Yatu showcased exquisite and unique pieces that highlighted the growth in creativity in the industry.
The runaway saw designs by the likes of Donalia Mwale (Dotty Designs), Kabaso Nkanda (Nkanda Yatu), Anna Mabula (Gloriaz Daughter), Kubekili Kalaluka (Afro Chic Designs), Chisoma Lombe (Chizo Designs), Martha Kabaso (Africouture Clothing) and Cecilia Njobvu (Ulo Designs).
Others are Duncan Kanyembo (Blink Designs), Nada (Nada Fashions), Juliet Jacobs (Interfashional Africa), Charity Nyirongo (Mo Creations & Couture), Nelly Chama (House of Ynell), Muleya Kalaluka (Evolve), Naomi Phiri (Nogam Designs), Ronnie Musonda (Akwe Couture) and Richard Kasanda (MK72).
The grand finale was opened by NobuNkosi Mukevho and was followed by other local designers like Towani Clark (Kutowa), Kasonde Nkole (Kasilita Designs), Fridah Mwenifumbo (House of Fashion), Lusungu Mudondo (Miss Lu) and Petros Giannakakis, whose designs were full of detail and attracted some attention from the audience.
This year the fashion week was not awarding the best designer as it only awards after two years but there was the Super Java competition for upcoming designers and Blink Designs, Nkanda Yatu and Yve Katongo imagined as winners.