HARARE – Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe (FSZ), the country’s newest fashion industry event, will explode into life on Saturday at Borrowdale Racecourse’s Glasshouse.
FSZ, which is set to be an annual fashion showcase, will be officially kick-started by a gala.
“The purpose of this weekend’s gala is to introduce our innovative concept and to launch the event whose full format will be unveiled in 2014,” FSZ director Shamiso Catherine Ruzvidzo told the Daily News.
“Zimbabwe should expect a fresh new approach that merges fashion, music, shopping and food in a fun-filled atmosphere.”
The high-profile event will feature music performances from the award-winning Audius Mtawarira and upcoming Afro-jazz/soul artiste Shingi Mangoma.
Established Zimbabwean designers that will participate in the launch gala include Maita Marimo who has just returned from a successful showcase of her designs in New York, Yvonne Ndawana-Watadza of House of Alpha Rose and Sabina Mutsvati who recently participated in the Zambia Fashion Week.
International Designer Fatima Mekgwe from Botswana will enhance the showcase’s international outlook with some exciting designs from her MTK Mateke brand.
The participation of an international designer is going to be a permanent feature of the event.
“As we celebrate the unique essence of Zimbabwean fashion and our designers through the event, we will also invite an international designer to participate every year,” said the FSZ director.
One of the key features of the new fashion extravaganza is a special programme that allows emerging Zimbabwean designers to showcase their works alongside the established talents.
The new designers at this year’s event include Edmond Chikumbirike, Natasha Theresa Kagoro, Nyasha Nhutsve, Samantha Dika, Samantha Matemadombo and Tanya Mushayi.
The newcomers’ participation was made possible by the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust and the European Union.
The two organisations provided the funding that allowed FSZ to conduct a nationwide search and selection process for new designers earlier this year.
As part of the programme, the qualifying designers went through a six-week skills mentorship programme where they received training on pattern making, quality assurance, brand responsibility and financial planning.
The Culture Fund and the European Union recently entered into a partnership for funding arts and culture development programmes in Zimbabwe.
In a statement on the funding, Culture Fund said that the overall aim of its new partnership with the EU is to improve the professional performance and the financial conditions of arts management, production and showcasing among arts organisations and individuals in Zimbabwe.
The Culture Fund is partnership with EU for Arts and Culture Development is co-funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
The programme’s specific objectives include helping to sustain Zimbabwean arts and culture by increasing the opportunities and visibility of Zimbabwean cultural actors by empowering them to produce good art.
Other Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe sponsors include the Manufacturers Association of Zimbabwe, Umax Broadband, Brotherhood Clothing Manufacturers, and Truworths.