Monday, 10 February 2014

Fashion In Harare

In the last 10 years or so, Zimbabwe as a nation has been through a rollercoaster journey and it is very well evident to see. A lot of the industries have gone into a downturn and one of them being the Textile Industry of Fashion. Fashion on its own, is a versatile and strong industry Incorporated with media and advertising. Now since 2009 however, the industry has been taking a noticeable and yet growing turn, one which I’m proud to see shine. There have been a growing number of fashion events over the past four years with focus being on ZFW (Zimbabwe Fashion Week) as well as the recently launched HIFAshion for HIFA; but my focus here is on the chain store fashion, yes I’m talking street fashion.
As a young undergrad student I’ve a flair for fashion and yes I’m faulty to say I’ve travelled a bit and is even more guilty to say I’ve at some point compared Zim fashion to that of South-Africa, Botswana and Namibia. And the spectrum in indifference is huge because Zim has a long way to go before we are fully recognized on the international front.
So “Fashion in Harare” is just this fashion diary I want to share about Harare’s retail and chain stores directly from the streets as how I see it (you are more than welcome to refer to here or JEWEL magazine Zimbabwe). On a good Saturday (even during the week after my lectures), I window shop as well as bargain hunt on some fashionable pieces trying to create something of my own. It is no lie that Harare retail stores don’t have a variety of clothing because one retail store in Julius Nyerere is selling the same apparel as a store in Herbert Chitepo and my usual concern is finding something that works for me. So here is just a rundown of some of the retail/chain stores (in categories) that are noticeably doing really good and ones which you will find me at (some of these stores can be found in previous blog posts).
NB: all these stores mentioned below apply to both men and women whether young or old.
Budget babe looks at affordable, cheap but good fashion. This is a selection of some of the stores I go to, to find something fun and nice but good on my pocket. For me its all about the good eye because you really cant buy anything and everything for instance, the colour blocking era was a colour blinding phenomenon for me. I daren’t not go there on clothing but did so on accessories only! Budget babe shopping includes 3 retail stores these being SK2, Wardrobe Mix and Great Gear as well as the fleamarket. Most of the clothing is particularly the same name branding such as H-Twenty One, New Feeling and Miss Eva Denim, just to name a few. These aren’t your quality pieces of clothing but it is what has flooded the market.
Now the fleamarket in Harare has become the norm; almost a hangout/scouting spot for everyone, regardless of age group. Fleamarkets in question is the Avondale fleamarket in the Avondale Shopping Centre operating everyday Monday-Sunday from dusk till dawn, and the Sam Levy Fleamarket that operates every Sunday at the Sam Levy Village.

Traditional Chain Stores
Your traditional chain stores are those that have stood the test of time but are now just rebranding and picking up on the fashion pace. Case in point are Jet (former Express stores), Edgars, Truworths and Powersales. These stores have branches all over Harare and are familiar particularly to the old schools such as my mom (I owe my mom to introducing me to these stores). Now what’s great about these stores is that they have introduced a lay bye procedure, something which is new because they usually work on individual clothing accounts. So far I’ve seen a lot of choices of clothing in these stores, ones which I’m pleased to see. Although they might be a little on the pricier side, I think it’s a fair start. In the case of Powersales, most of their clothing is imported from PEP South-Africa (yes, I’ve checked the labels) and frankly I would like to see more local textile design wear.
High End Boutiques
High end boutiques are the stores that I admire but cannot afford (remember I’m a student), but I do occasionally buy statement pieces from these stores such as a good handbag, a statement shoe or a statement blazer. I believe in investing in certain pieces, ones that I know will last me longer. Now these boutiques stock international clothing and by international I mean they are neither local nor regional. Their clothing is imported from Brazil, England, America and Australia making them pretty expensive in some cases. Case in point is Passport boutique, SOHO Wear, Chapter 2 (two), Little Harrods, Defined Wear and Wisteria Lane. Now most of these boutiques are on the outskirts of the CBD and are found in suburbs that include Avondale, Newlands, Borrowdale and Mount Pleasant. Not to forget the shoe and handbag boutiques such as Sapatos at Joina City, Nicia and Shoe Shack which are both at the Village.

You can spot some of these boutiques and their merchandise in the fashion pages of JEWEL magazine Zimbabwe.
My emphasis here with “Fashion in Harare” is to showcase just what the city has to offer in terms of what and where to find a good piece of clothing to wear. Its no lie that majority of the merchandise in town is cheap, china wear.
Stay Gorgeous and Glamorous,

DISCLAIMER: The blog, Signature Toscie by Tendai Sophia is in no manner affiliated with these brands and/or stores. I’m just a young lady sharing my passion for local fashion.

1 comment:

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