Tanzania fashion festival celebrates models of all sizes

Tuesday October 20 2020

The models at the Tanzania Fashion Festival. PHOTO | ISMAIL SABUNI | NMG


This year's Tanzania Fashion Festival held on October 3, embraced diversity in its choices while remaining relevant.

The show, held at the Slipway Hotel in Dar es Salaam, had models of different body sizes, heights and ages. It also gave new designers and first-time models a chance to showcase their talent.

There was a total of 21 designers – 16 emerging and five well-established.

Ruth Josephat Urio, founder of J’adore Couture — which specialises in hair and cosmetics — represented different sizes and body shapes with models who don't fit the "typical" figure.

“Fashion is for everybody. I wanted to be inclusive through action not just preaching it.

"Anyone can have a chance at fashion, what is needed is confidence to showcase products in front of the crowd,” she said.


Taff had 17-year-old model Angela walk the runway while international model and former Miss Tanzania Millen Happiness Magese made a special appearance.

Jacqueline Wolper, Bongo, a movie actress and stylist, closed the show with her collection off Wolper House of Stylish.

Some of the designers at the show were Lucky Collections, Wole, Waiz Zanzibar, Enjipai by Nasreen Karim and American-based Tanzanian designer Asia Idarous.

VIP tickets were sold at Tsh50,000 ($21.60) while normal tickets were sold at Tsh10,000 ($4.3o) advance and Tsh15,000 ($6.40) at the door.

South Africa-based fashion photographer Shawn Keiffer, who was also one of the organisers, described the country's fashion industry as remarkable.

"The fashion industry has grown in size and sophistication. The evolution of the fashion scene in the past few years, with the changing politics of the front row and the diverse imagery behind-the-scenes, has been nothing short of remarkable,” he said.

Keiffer added that getting more support for the fashion industry would enable it to realise its potential.

"It will take joint effort to get the Tanzanian fashion industry up to speed," he said.

However, despite the glamour of the fashion show, there are still not enough platforms for the growing number of designers, stylists and models to showcase their creativity.

"We need more platforms and fashion activities," said Makrida Joseph, a Tanzanian model and stylist.

Besides the Tanzania Fashion Festival, there is Swahili Fashion Week and the East: The annual Tanzania fashion festival was founded by fashion TV producer and presenter Deogratius Kithama in 2018.