Fashion grows wings in 2019
Fashion is one of the artistic disciplines that shined in 2019 with several fashion designers and their models doing their best to show the best of designs.
Some designers were even more vibrant as they did not only excel on the local front but also went on to conquer the international stage.
Designer Lilly Alfonso was at it again when she won two awards in Egypt in 2019 and showed that Malawi has more in terms of fashion on its plate.
Alfonso received the first award early last year before earning another award towards the end of last year.
Her two awards were a clear statement to the world that Malawi has got more to offer as far as fashion design is concerned and that it has players who sleep fashion and love fashion.
“It is all to Malawi and I always say that there is talent in Malawi. Let us continue working hard and most importantly being creative and avoid copying each other. And most importantly lets learn from each other and support each other,” Alfonso said recently after collecting her second award in Egypt.
The designer, who has had interviews with CNN and BBC among others on her fashion exploits, which have seen her exporting her designs outside the country, was also decorated with the Fashion Legend Award during the 2019 Urban Music People (UMP) Blended Awards (Music and Fashion).
One of the players, who has also spearheaded fashion and modelling in the country through Fashion4Change which took place in Blantyre last year, Ausa Kamanga, said the fashion industry continues to make huge strides.
“In 2019, fashion made another huge step than the previous years. We are now getting the support from the corporate world which was difficult in the previous years,” Kamanga said.
She said that designers have expanded their base and that they were now moving with the times as regards being creative.
“Designers are more creative and making sure that they deliver or exceed what is expected of them by the industry. There is growth in fashion for sure and if we can get more support then I see us shining more,” Kamanga said.
She also said the fashion industry got noticed in 2019 when it was included on the line-up of the UMP Blended Awards.
“Again, fashion has taken a different approach, it is not only about dressing but also using it for a change. Using fashion to bring awareness on different issues and this is why we have some corporates interested,” Kamanga said.
There were also a number of fashion events that happened in 2019 that showed the best of fashion although some failed to hold their events.
Mzuzu Fashion Week, is one of the annual events that has stood the test of time and has continued to provide a platform for interaction for designers, models, business magnets and various other stakeholders interested in fashion.
However, one of the founders of Mzuzu Fashion Week, Zikani Garvey Nyirenda, described 2019 as rough just like many art industries.
“The challenges were there especially with what happened in the country in 2019. But to the other extent, we saw the establishment of the wedding directory for bridal wear. Corporates have also stepped up support for fashion and the creative industry as a whole. We would like to thank the corporate world for that and also call upon them to continue supporting us,” Nyirenda said.
He also took mention of UMP for coming out with the fashion awards in 2019 which decolated models and designers.
“Fashion has potential and if it can be supported fully the better,” Nyirenda said.
He said the challenges still remain that there is lack of commitment from potential corporate sponsors.
Fashion grew wings in 2019 but it still has more room for improvement where designers are expected to be more creative and be at par with the international stage.