Mizero on defining fashion his own way

Sunday February 12 2017

Models showcase Cedric Mizero's (left) designs

Models showcase Cedric Mizero's (left) designs at the 2016 Kigali Fashion Week. PHOTO | ANDREW KAZIBWE 

By Andrew I Kazibwe

It is unusual to find abstract fashion designers in Rwanda, but Cedric Mizero is representing this form of fashion in the country.

The 23-year old fashion designer comes up with unique outfits that cause a stir and spark debate.

He was born in Gishoma in Cyangugu district in Western province.

In 2012 he participated in various school entertainment shows and this marked his entry into the local fashion scene. Recognition for his work came when Mizero posted a picture on his Facebook account of old shoes he redesigned using kitenge fabric.

Jemima Kakizi, a female visual artiste and fashion designer, encouraged Mizero to further his interest in fashion and the two have worked together on various projects,

In 2014, he took a leap of faith and took part in the Kigali Fashion Week casting for designers, but he was not chosen.

His breakthrough came during the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Kigali Fashion Week, where he successfully showcased his designs.

He also showcased his designs at the Collective Rwanda-Week of Fashion, which premiered late last year and he impressed.

With a talent for drawing, Mizero has found it easy to transform his designs from paper to real outfits. He has even come up with the Amizero Fashion House.

Many Rwandans are slowly embracing fashion and Mizero’s outfits spark debate especially because of their unusual look and shape, which some find strange.

Mizero’s designs are mainly abstract, an approach which many fashion designers in the country do not venture into. His creations are extraordinary and unconventional.

He chose not to emulate already established designs or outfits and instead chose a trend that is rare. He creates themes that he believes can speak to different generations, as he seeks to establish his name.

On a typical working day, Mizero can be found at his home, which is close to the Natural History Museum in Nyarugenge, and that doubles as his workshop and showroom. It is from here that he comes up with his designs and abstract sketches.

Mizero says he draws inspiration from his mother and from themes of life and nature and he creates outfits depicting plant forms like leaves and flowers.
“I love the shapes of plants,” he said.

In previous shows, the designer has incorporated various fabrics like cotton and linen in bright colours, and he also uses materials like wires to complement the shapes on his designs.

He strives to bring out shapes of flowers or insects in his outfits and in the process creates rare collections.

Mizero prefers making outfits for women because he can use shapes and colours to express his imagination.

In a bid to reach out to more people and market his designs, Mizero tours towns and villages around the country to showcase his work.

His campaign titled “Fashion for All” has seen him visit families in the rural areas, presenting his ideas on fashion, designing outfits, dressing people and photographing them.

“Fashion for All” also highlights how expensive locally-made outfits and how fashion is mainly embraced by foreigners and the corporate class.

“A shirt or trouser can cost more than Rwf20,000 ($24), yet making it costs much less. This is because designers focus more on the corporate class, and ignore the rest,” said Mizero.

The designer also believes the industry serves specific sizes and ages, and excluded certain people.

He has toured Rusizi and Huye, where he designed outfits for elderly people and used them as his models. He hopes to go to Musanze where he will work with young people.

Mizero’s outfits are yet to hit clothing stores, and currently are not available at any clothing outlet yet.

“I do receive orders, which I deliver, but I need to first make my fashion brand well known before stocking my clothes in stores,” he said.

He is organising a solo show to showcase his designs and paintings. The fashion enthusiast also plans to design for both local and international movie industries.