ZIO MWALE, Lusaka
AWARD-WINNING South African designer NobuNkosi Mukevho, who is behind the label Khosi Nkosi, which she established in 2008 after winning a Young Designers Competition, is expected to grace the Zambia Fashion Week in a fortnight.
This particular one, being held under the theme “Design Beyond the Ordinary” at the New Government Complex, is not to be confused with another fashion week under the same name which had auditions at Foxdale Court on Sunday.
Those auditions were held under the umbrella of Zambezi Lifestyle Magazine and Yatu Communications and led to a flurry of comments online regarding patenting.
But this one, scheduled for October 19 to 21, was revamped by Karen Nakawala having originally been started by Julian Becker in 2005 with the aim of creating a platform that will contribute to the growth of the fashion industry and be a catalyst for job creation in the sector.
The annual event will have 62 local designers exhibiting their designs. Three other designers, Terrence Leonard of Zimbabwe, and Linda Nkya and Popedi Segapo of South African, will also be in attendance.
Zambia Fashion Week director Karen Nakawala says this year’s theme “Design Beyond the Ordinary”, is aimed at challenging fashion designers that they can do extra ordinary things with their hands.
“Fashion designers especially upcoming ones need to think outside the box and try to be creative in their art of designing, because what we want are fresh designs,” she says.
“This year, the Zambia Fashion Week has received a number of upcoming designers on board, we can say we have atleast seen a few male designers flocking in the female dominated industry.”
Karen believes that local designers can learn a lot from Nkosi, an internationally acclaimed designer who has dressed the likes of Lupita Nyongo.
Some of the local designers expected to exhibit are Kassilita Designs by Kasonde Nkole, Ipalo, Tetenge, Lwenje, Blink Africa, Nogam, Mizuwa, Fridah Mwenifumbo, Fonds of House Fashions, Kutowa by Towani Clark, Nada, Alice Musukwa and Kanyambo by Duncan.
For the award-winning Kasonde, she is hoping for more collaboration between upstarts and established designers.
“Even as we are exhibiting under the theme, “Designing Beyond the Ordinary”, we should put in mind the fact that we have upcoming designers who we need to embrace and help build,” says Kasonde, who won the 2015 Best Fashion Designer.
She loves to work with colourful fabric because it pushes her to be more creative. Her collection at this year’s fashion week aims to enhance the beauty of a modern woman and is a ready-to-wear collection that every classic woman would love for corporate or social events.
Designers participating for the first time at the event include Kavunamena, Muleya Kalaluka, Ulo and Mwelwa Mudebe.
Last year, a record 54 designers took part in the event and the stage was graced by South African award winning fashion designer Poledi.