Two Zimbabweans will this weekend take part in the African Fashion Week London (AFWL), an event created by Ronke Ademiluyi and is Europe’s largest catwalk event of African and African-inspired design. The main purpose of the event is to increase the visibility and awareness of designers by providing them with an affordable global showcasing platform.
AFWL is an annual which has already showcased over 300 designers and attracts over 45,000 visitors including buyers, retailers and other industry professionals with its open-to-the-public events which are becoming a highlight on the annual fashion calendar.
Zimbabwe will be represented by House of Mucha and Le Ekhaya, which at a time when the Zimbabwean government is desperate to boost the local clothing and textile industry with the ban of second hand clothes. It offers the opportunity to prove to aspiring designers and entrepreneurs to break into a market that has now become flooded with second hand clothes and is gasping for fresh ideas supported by the government and at the same time driven by the people of Zimbabwe. Below is a brief profile of the 2 designers.
House of Mucha
Zimbabwean born LinDi has created a unique afro-vintage sophisticated style which is aimed at the young and mature generation with a contemporary lifestyle. LinDis understanding of vintage design and traditional African styles has created a new and elegant AfroVintage brand as inspired by her mother’s fashion style of the 70’s.
LinDi loves mixing different fabrics to create trendy styles using distinctive print colors, high quality fabric to intricate fusion of patterns and a rich African aesthetic . Lindi studied arts design whilst in law school and is excited to commence studies in the London College of Fashion to study Fashion design this October.
LinDi travels frequently to source unique fabric and create employment in developing areas.
Le Ekhaya is a story of two stories that embody the power of hope, tenacity, determination and personal triumph of over the paralysis of pain,and adversity, and the liberation and triumph of womanhood over subordination and subjugation through fashion in the roraring 60’s.
My designs speak to – and of- the resilience and strength of the everyday woman in an era (the 50’s and 60’s) who kept going and growing despite the many knock-downs women faced in that era, who instead of laying down and ‘dying’, expressed their defiance through styles that exuded elegance, chique, sexiness and joie de vive!
Unique Sibanda says I am every woman and every woman is me.
I, as a designer, let my designs become a fusion that embodies the fierceness of the vintage woman, the fragility of the modern woman and the vision of the future women, my collection is all these elements fused together.
Le Ekhaya which means “back home” is me; “returning to self” and I am every woman.