Shout-Africa attended the Zimbabwean Fashion Week UK, which was held at The Crown Banqueting Hall in Birmingham on Saturday 4 July. Chiedza Dawn Ziyambe the creative talent behind the Miss Chii luxury lingerie brand is also the founder of the event.
Styles and clothes are an important part of our cultural identity and what it means to be from Zimbabwe. Fashion week is a celebration of fashion and in addition an acknowledgement of the incredible creativity of the people of Zimbabwe wherever they live in the world.
The idea behind the event is to create a platform to provide possibilities for business and individuals to network annually and in the process creating an opportunity to make new connections, build relationships and raise the profile of Zimbabwean fashion. Inspiration was derived from the hugely successful African Fashion Week in London and other fashion events around the globe.
The event brought along 9 designers, showcasing a variety of mouth-watering collections and some gorgeous models strutting the Zimbabwe and fusion styles. Among the designers was Farayi Simoyi, a fashion designer who was recently honoured on the pages of FORBES and featured by the likes of Essence and Time Out as “Next Best Designer”. She was joined by Martha Kuuya-Seidu, Jean Huni, Vongai Ruzive, Julia Makombe, Miss Loppy, Unique Sibanda-le Ekhaya, Laura Nyahuye and the founder Chiedza Dawn Ziyambe.
Chiedza, although coming from a construction background has always been fascinated by people and what they wear. After noticing a gap in the market and also realising how various designers are working on various projects without an opportunity or platform to show case their efforts, decided to work on the idea for creating this annual event.
Judging from the designs featured on the show, Chiedza shares the view that Zimbabwe has a wealth of talent far beyond politics and whilst African prints are a hot trend in the fashion houses of New York, Paris and Milan, Zimbabwe can make a name for itself in the fashion world.
Also in attendance was The Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Raymond Hassall who came along with Lorraine Olley who is the Consort to Lord Mayor of Birmingham. Councillor Raymond and Lorraine expressed their interest to promote African business and cultural events whilst also acknowledging the contributions the Zimbabwean community has made to the Birmingham community. They both believe that events like this are great way to bring a community together.
Overall it is a very promising event and the excitement and expressions of the crowd showed how engaging and entertaining the event was. It was really a great way to kick start things and give the audience a taste of what is to come whilst providing an opportunity to preview the breadth of creative talent, which has contributed to Zimbabwe’s reputation as one of the best countries for producing fashion.