Thursday, 27 February 2014

Meet The Industry; Fashion Networking at Queen of Hearts – FWZ 2014.

Ever wondered who makes the Fashion Industry in Zimbabwe? Well I found out just that on Saturday 22 February at a small Meet The Industry networking event organised by Shamiso Ruzvidzo for Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe2014. FWZ 2014 seems to be creating a big impact for the year 2014, because there will be more of these Fashion Industry networking events scheduled for each month right up to the festival later in the month of November.

So to kick off the anticipation for FWZ 2014, the Meet The Industry, being the first one, was meant to bring together individuals in the Fashion Industry in Zimbabwe via a small meet n’ greet brunch that had tea, coffee and light snacks, with $5 as the entry fee. The event spanned just over 2 hours, and brought together photographers, designers, retailers, buyers, models, PR agencies and fashion bloggers (just myself).

Photographers in question were Tnash Photography (whose photos I will use for this post because at the moment I’m trying to purchase a new phone), Michelle Fortmann Photography (she is the lady behind some of the photos you see in JEWEL magazine and the Mucha Couture website) and Macpherson Photographers Zimbabwe. I spotted a pack of new designers, some of which are young and still emerging. To start off I spoke to Bridget Minenhle Nyathi who has her label Brie’s Fashions, she’s a lady that resides from Bulawayo and has recently moved to Harare. Her designs are mainly couture based with ladies corsets, wedding gowns, beaded hand work and a few avant-garde pieces. TiyaMike Shazz Dingilesi is a young lady (probably around the age of 18 because she spoke off just finishing her A level) who is one of the finalist’s for Africa On MySleeve alongside Natasha Kagoro and Kimberley Masimbe of House of Kiki M. Her sketch book pretty much showcased an avant-garde feel to young and edgy looks, but her designs are still fresh and new.

Tiya Mike, wearing the hat.
Bridget Nyathi
Michelle Fortmann and Nadine of LonCrae.
Well established designers at the gathering were Nadine of LonCrae, who has a studio in Belgravia at the Bottom Drawer and specialised in once-off designer pieces for her clients. Dress Code was the one retail store that I met who have a store by Newlands in the Mon Repos building. They are in the process of rebranding their store from selling unique couture collections with exclusively imported clothes from the UK that include Frank Usher, Coterie, Jaeger, Tegan, Kaliko, Alexon and Minuet Petite, to incorporating young Zimbabwean designers in what they call the Young Designers Emporium (the Zim version so to say, because there is YDE in South Africa). Already on board is Tanya Nefertari, as they try to establish themselves as Zimbabwe’s sole /leading retail outlet for proven Zimbabwe design talent through the provision of shop space and a venue to launch the collections to the public.

Make-up artist Kelli Barker was also in attendance, she was the make up artist for Zimbabwe Fashion Week 2012 whilst Kudzai and Fisher were the two male models that I noticed both from Catherine Ruze modelling agency. I had already known Kudzai from a photoshoot for Rungano Rwedu back in January 2013 with Shamiso and Mellisa whilst under Runway Productions. Image consultant, blogger, stylist and above all gentleman Craig Zoowie was also in attendance whilst under VIP Hosting, which is a PR and events company based in Eastlea, Harare. It was such a pleasure to meet Zoowie -True to his word as he is with his fashion. Another stylist was Michael who is also the head buyer for Jet Stores Zimbabwe.
Kudzai (in all white) and Fisher.

Myself and Craig Zoowie.
The setting for Meet The Industry was outside in the yard of the Queen of Hearts café under the trees (great connection with nature). The weather was just perfect! Although having rained a bit that morning but it was down right sunny and warm. I opted to have tea, because I’m just that kind of girl, and talk a lot and smile a lot (I was smiling a lot! Check the photos).

What do I think about Meet The Industry? I thought it went very well. I met new people and new faces, some of which had been around much longer than me, but I was glad to meet them. I learned about what goes into photos and photography, having spoken to photographers because I hinted I like to take photos. I also learned about the printing and press publishing from the editor of Stitch magazine who personally prints the magazine herself.

I would think there should be more of these events so that individuals and companies come together, talk and introduce new ideas that can boost and pave way for the Fashion Industry in Zimbabwe. I remember Shamiso hinting that the music industry in Zimbabwe is collective and very together, and everyone knows everyone and works with everyone! Why not do that with the fashion industry?

Most of the designers I met had been sewing and pattern cutting for more than 10 years, but I however had no clue who they were! So a part of me does feel this is important and beneficial to anyone who wants or wishes to venture into fashion.

Editor for Stitch Magazine
Our hostess Shamiso Ruzvidzo.
All smiles! Check, my tote photobombed this photo.
So now onto you; What are your thoughts about Meet The Industry and Fashion Networking? Share with me and the rest of the industry.

*All photos courtesy of Tnash Photography. The rest of the photos for Meet The Industry can be viewed here via Fashion Weekend Zim's Facebook page. Full Details of my ensemble on here*

Yours in Glamour,


  1. nice.. cool pics.. love them.. lets follow each other on GFC….