Rwanda showcases collective fashion

Saturday June 3 2017

Left, designer Matthew Rugamba; right, some of

Left, designer Matthew Rugamba; right, some of the designs to be showcased at the fashion week. PHOTO | ANDREW I KAZIBWE 

By Jefferson Rumanyika

Unlocking the potential of the creative industry in the region” is the title of the Collective Rw Week of Fashion, the second edition of a week-long fashion extravaganza slated for June 10.

The event is more than just about models and fashion designers. It showcases the creative talent that Rwanda has to offer.

The finale, which will take place at the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village, next to the Kigali Serena Hotel, will feature high profile South-African designer Laduma Ngxkolo, who is famed for creating Xhosa-inspired outfits that have been worn by the likes of Beyoncé.

The organisers say that this year’s edition will be bigger and has already attracted participants from around the region. They intend to make it an annual regional week of fashion featuring upcoming designers from the continent.

At the inaugural event last year, one South African and seven local designers showcased their designs at the Kigali Serena ballroom cheered on by 300 spectators including First Lady Jeanette Kagame.

“This week of fashion will be a more colourful event than last year’s,” said Anne Mazimpaka, Collective Rw publicist. The event is organised by Collective Rwanda, a group of five young fashion designers.

This year’s finale will be hosted by Kemiyondo, a former presenter of Discover Uganda, and Regis Isheja, a Rwandan MC. It will feature House of Tayo, Inzuki, Sonia Mugabo, Haute Baso, Moshions, Amizero, and international fashion house Maxhosa.

“Last year was a great event, and we hope this year will be bigger and better with more participants,” said Matthew Rugamba, one of the co-founders of Collective Rwanda. Israel Kazi, a fashion and arts enthusiast, attended last year’s event.

“Last year’s event was exciting but many people did not know about it. I understand this year’s event will have a much grander production, so I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

Attracting designers

The organisers say the event’s objective is to promote locally made products under the Made in Rwanda campaign, with the aim of placing the Rwandan flag on the global fashion map. The platform aims to attract local, regional and international fashion designers, models and other technical personnel to build a regional and international collaborative platform, showcasing authentic home-made designs to boost the fashion market and sector.

There will be an after-party. VIP tickets will retail at Rwf40,000 ($48), which includes complimentary food and beverages. Preferred seating tickets will cost Rwf30,000 ($36) which include a free beer; regular tickets will cost Rwf20,000 ($24).

Sponsors of the event have offered prizes that include air tickets to multiple destinations, hotel vouchers and electronics.

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