The fashion world is one of the fastest growing industries at the moment where every Jim and jack wants to have the best designs made by the best designers.
The country has not been left out of this fashion fever where designers have been on their toes to be at par with the world.
Designers such as Lily Alfonso have expanded their base to feed the world with their designs.
There are several platforms on the international stage that designers always look up to show their work and they include the New York Fashion Week. These platforms have given designers all over the world the chance to show their latest designs and network with other designers.
Malawi has not been left out of the equation of hosting fashion events aimed at giving fashion designers a chance to show their latest designs.
One of the events that has stood the test of time include Mzuzu Fashion Week, a brainchild of Wezi Mzumara and Zikani Nyirenda.
The event returns this year for its fifth edition.
Mzumara said Mzuzu Fashion Week, which has a combination of seminars and night of showcases to will be held from October 3 to 6 2019.
She said through the event, they hope to inspire a new generation of fashion designers and entrepreneurs.
“These individuals could then use their skills to create jobs as well as products that may be exported, thereby generating revenue for the nation,” she said.
“This event serves as a place where stakeholders can network and learn from one another. This would thereby lead to a greater demand for Malawian clothing and thereby boost the nation’s economic standing”.
Mzumara said Mzuzu Fashion Week has the potential to be a major contributor to Malawi’s socio-economic growth.
Now in its fifth year, Mzumara said the Mzuzu Fashion Week will this year bring together designers from across the country and neighbouring countries for four days filled with fashion and fun.
The main runway events will take place on Friday and Saturday evening at the intimate Italian restaurant and camp hidden in the hills of Mzuzu – Macondo Camp.
Some of the designers set to show their works in the 2019 event include Mawen Designs whose owner is Maggie Chimtengo and Owen Mwenye from Lilongwe.
For Mawen Designs, their story began in February 2019 and by then they were only customising T-shirts and Hoodies under the brand name KB_Wear, which still exist to date.
According to their profile, the Lilongwe-based Mawen’s mission is to offer quality and affordable products and services.
Then there is also Ndambiche Designs from Mzuzu led by Niyya Musinseni.
According to their profile, Ndambiche Designs’ clothing aims at keeping the one wearing it feel comfortable and gorgeous at the same time.
“Ndambiche was the designers’ grandmother’s name and who was a modest woman but still kept her style on point. Her mother always encouraged her from a very young age when she saw her interest in making clothes for dolls and eventually for people,” Mzumara said.
Ndambiche is not only looking at showcasing her designs in the country, but she aspires to become one of the leading national designers at international level and make cultural clothes that depict Africa’s warm heart and welcoming people.
This year’s event will see Phyllis64 by Tadala Kancha, who is based in Blantyre.
The others are M.A.D by Agness Maliana from Mzuzu, who is an up and coming designer.
“We made sure that we have a variety of designers from the Central, South and Northern Region,” Mzumara said.
The Mzuzu Fashion Week is this year also hosting Nandi Larethi (Abiot Malawa) from Zimbabwe.
“Nandi is an award-winning progressive fashion house, looking to change and enlighten the way people think about dressing and looking glamorous. The fashion house is inspired by fantasias looks for functions and day to day life,” she said.
According to Mzumara, Africa has a lot to tell in fashion and that Nandi’s presence at the Mzuzu Fashion Week will be the third time.
The other designers are Wala Clothing from Lilongwe, Alinafe Designers, Royal Evie and V. Aloysius from Lilongwe.
“There is just so much on the ground and going forward we are looking at connecting with several other fashion weeks. We are happy with the direction we have taken and the works that designers have been showcasing,” she said.
“It is not just about holding this event but keeping it fresh always. This is why we make sure that we bring on stage up and coming designers and then veterans in the game. On top of that we have these business seminars”.
Five years is no joke for Mzuzu Fashion Week looking at the challenges the country is facing, some fashion gatherings have died a natural death but the Mzuzu showdown continues walking.
The question now for them is how far will they go and what are they doing to make sure that there is always freshness every year?
“I did indicate earlier that our package is unique because apart from the usual runaway activities, we also have business seminars where designers, models and different players in the fashion world meet to share ideas and also map the way forward on fashion. The most important thing is also to keep up with our friends on the international market, see where they are, what new things they have and how they are embracing such things as technology,” she said.