The annual Tanzania’s Fashion Festival (TAFF) was held on September 28, and featured plus-size runway models, much to the excitement of fashionistas in attendance.
The models wore Tanzanian designs in local print fabric showcasing body types similar to many in the crowd.
Past events featured tall, thin models, a reflection of Milan, New York and Paris runways.
Speaking to The EastAfrican, Deogratius Kithama, an event organiser and a 10-year fashion TV producer and presenter said; “TAFF decided to change the trend and embrace curves. Going forward, fashion runways should represent all-inclusive and diverse model profiles.”
Ruth Josephat Urio, founder of J’adore Couture, a hair and cosmetics company, said she chose to use plus-sized models of average height for the show.
“I did it for me,” she said, adding that she struggled to find clothes that could fit her at fashion shows, being plus-sized herself. “I attend several fashion shows but rarely do I find something that fits me.
“I wanted to bring inclusivity by action not just preach it. Anyone who falls outside the norm can have the chance to model, they just need confidence,” she added.
Maryanne Joseph said, “Diversity and inclusion are not yet a trend in Tanzania, but that’s the way we should all be headed. I can even buy an outfit on the spot, without having to worry whether if it will fit me or not," she said of the J’adore dresses.
Besides the usual designers like Wolper House of Style, Lucky Collections, Jammilla Vera Swai, Jux, Gibacco, Waiz, Jamila, Samuel Zebedayo, Lucky Creation and Vaaazi, emerging designers such as Rebecca of beckyyarnfashion label, Deborah, Emma, Baraka, Treezy Gallant, Twins, Leonce, Getlove, Maggie, Daddy and Mama J’adore also showed their creations.
Juma Mussa, famously known as Jux, a Tanzanian R&B artist, performed and introduced his new clothing brand collection African Boy Summer Collection. His line includes T-shirts, jeans, dress shirts, caps, boxers, body vests and hoodies for men and women.
The event organisers did not expect a huge turnout and the limited space was all taken up. The VIP section was fully booked in advance.