EXCLUSIVE MOMENTS WITH AWARD WINNING TANZANIAN DESIGNER
Clemoo is one of the leading fashion brands in Tanzania, owned by Tanzania’s award winning fashion designer Clement Constantine. The brand has been viewed as one of the Best Exclusive suits brands in Africa. During last year’s Global Fashion Week the brand was awarded the Best Fashion Brand 2020.
My Afrika Magazine journalist, Tapiwa Rubaya spoke with Clement Constantine as he tells us more about the Clemmo brand.
TR: How did the Clemmo brand come about?
CO: My brand started ten years ago officially, but it was started since I was a little child after seeing and helping my mother in her tailoring mart, that is when I came to love fashion and put my heart into it.
TR: Your brand chiefly is all about suits. Why?
CO: My brand is dealing with many fashion styles but it’s famous in designing suits that is why most people see and take my brand as a suit brand, but we do make other styles.
TR: As a designer what is important when it comes to designing suits?
CO: What important is the look of the one wearing the suit (clients),skin tone and other looks,quality of the fabric,theme of the event,the suit that is needed to be worn,and good measurements to perfect fit ,those are my importants keys I consider.
TR: What type of fabrics do you use for your suits and are they exported or imported?
CO: I use first quality grade fabrics and sometimes second grade fabrics,for better finishing and ellegancy look of the suits and other designs I produce,different types of fabrics I use pronto, velvet, cashmere, gabardine, viscose, velvet, twill, tweed, toile, taffeta, suede, spandex, silk, satin, polyester, organza, muslin, modal, merino, wool, linen, leather, lace, jersey, gingham, georgette, damask, crepe, cotton, chiffon, chenille, canvas etc. Some of these fabrics are imported and others sourced locally.
TR: What is your take when it comes to Africa’s fashion industry especially in the suits fashion industry?
CO: Africa’s fashion industry is growing fast, as it is taking over the world fashion industry. My take is African designers should continue making good suits and other designs by using all of their designing capacity,and also we should work together in one unity when it comes to fashion in order to continue taking African fashion to the top.
TR: Your brand has successfully won a number of awards including Best Fashion Designer Award at Global Fashion Week last year. What did it mean to you winning the award?
CO: It meant that my brand is now known, all over Africa and across the globe.
Now that I am recognized as an international designer, I have to work even harder than before. I aim to showcase my designs on various platforms and hope to receive more awards and greater recognition.
TR: You are based in Tanzania and your country faced a few months of lockdown since the COVID-19 was announced throughout the world. However you re-opened and the world didn’t, hasn’t that affected your clients and work?
CO: It has affected my work, however I take every challenge as an opportunity, hence I continue working hard and trying to market my products online. With covid-19 I had no choice but to focus my energy on our online retail presence.
TR: Two fashion shows which you are planning to showcase your collections this year?
CO: Oran Fashion Week-Algeria and Shenen Fashion Week -Ethiopia
TR: Speaking about collections when are you releasing your next collection?
CO: I am going to release my new collection “Itikisaeli Collection” at Oran Fashion Week in November this year. My collection goes by the name of my mother “Itikisaeli” because she is the one who gave me a passion for fashion design after seeing her working in her tailoring mart when I was young. The collection will be about mixed suits with some touches of shining fabrics and other designs style not yet seen before.
TR: Lastly any wise words to suit designers in Africa?
CO: Any designer who wants to reach their goal, they should be ready to have faith in everything they want to achieve. In addition, one must be ready to sacrifice everything for his or her goal to be successful and also be ready to take every challenge or problems as an opportunity to achieve .Lastly whatever you do, do it from the bottom of your heart.
Check out some of the designs by following Clemoo on social media