Zim fashion week bounces back

Takudzwa Chihambakwe
THE country’s premier fashion showcase, Zimbabwe Fashion Week (ZFW), is back following a two-year sabbatical.

The event was last held in 2015 before local organisers had a nasty fallout with their service providers, South African fashion production company- Group of Creatives, leading to a temporary halt of the affair.

Following this, players in the fashion industry were left with no major showcase.

Attempts by various fashion enthusiasts to host annual exhibitions did not yield positive results as the ZFW had long set the bar high.

Realising the gap and having recovered from the 2015 debacle, founder of ZFW, Priscilla Chigariro is back with a US$20 000 showcase slated for the tranquil garden, The Sp_ce (pronounced Space) in Ballantyne Park from August 29 to September 1 this year.

“The inspiration to bring back the show emanates from the fact that I feel I’m now ready for it again. I have been trying to host the ZFW in the last two years with no success because I had a number of challenges chief among them being lack of a venue of my own and equipment to host the event,” revealed Chigariro.

“But things have changed. I now own the venue, meaning no rental costs and unnecessary battles with location owners who have their own expectations as opposed to what we would be envisioning.”

The sorry sight of the fashion sector, she adds, has also motivated her decision to bounce back.

“After stopping the show we realised that things just died in the fashion industry. A number of people tried to do shows once in a while but I feel like it never was at the magnitude or standard that we had set.

“I felt that we had to return because nobody else was going to get the concept going on quite right. I don’t mean to sound arrogant, but in life we all have our different strengths,” notes Chigariro.

The former fashion model said it feels like she is starting the show from scratch.

This year’s edition is themed #TheREBIRTH – representing life, eternity and continuity.

A number of international guests are set to grace the event as per the ZFW norm of bringing international flair to the event.

“We are hosting photographer and art director, Louis Philippe de Gagoue, who works with Vogue Russia and Italia. As well as New York-based designer, Evelyn Lambert alongside celebrity fashion stylist and designer, Mickey Freeman.

“Another international guest will be Asanda Sizani, the newly appointed editor-in-chief of Glamour South Africa,” highlighted Chigariro.

Renowned German DJ, Konrad Ritter will also be at the event.

On funding issues she said ”We have been blessed to have a robust group of sponsors coming on board to support us. I have put in my funds as well. We have sponsors taking care of hair, and make-up, and our venue has the facilities in place which we usually had to construct if we were hiring the space.”

She further reflects on her wrangle with Group of Creatives which sapped the zeal to host ZFW.

“Group of Creatives was a company I hired. I was paying them to do photography and handle the production of the show. But I remained with full control of everything that would happen with the fashion week as it was and still is my production.”

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