Story by Rubaya Tapiwanashe
The fashion House Sozinio and Onai is one of the most dominating fashion brands in Zimbabwe, we meet the trio behind the brand who opened doors for us at their exclusive studio where they, sat down with us and gave us some insights about their roots of their brand in the fashion industry.
We get to also get to know the phenomenon part of the brand is unique and why most of its focus is on ladies. wear.
Q: Your brand’s name is, Sozinio and Onai where does the name derive from?
A: Sozinio and Onai are Freddy and Marshall ‘s surnames respectively.
Q: Can you tell us about the foundations of your brand in terms of it’s origins?
A: The birthday of our brand, our brand began when Marshall and I had finished obtaining our education 2 years back.
We were more of tailors than designers, when we started and as time went by, our skills grew in the fashion industry.
We have never applied pressure to our brand when it comes to markerting, our magic is we sit down on our machines and begin to design our clothes and the next step, we post our designs online in different social media platforms, that’s how many people get to see our work.
Q: What sets your brand apart from another brand?
A: We have different reasons why our brand is unique; however, the main fact is that we have accessories, we have gowns/designs under one house that is what is setting us apart above all the collaboration that Onai and I (Freddy) have it’s different and powerful.
They are few fashion designers who are locally whom you might find with the accessories such as bags to go along with the gowns that they have created in their house.
Another reason, we take our job serious for example, Onai studied the accessories part from when he was young.
His father was an accessory designer, he grew up in an environment of accessory designing to an extent that he went to school to study and get a certificate under the accessory department.
I also went to school to study for the same department and I obtained my fashion, education in Dubai, that involved, how to lace, how to accessories a fabric.
I believe that knowledge and studying is the reason that has made us to stood out and be different from others.
Lastly but not the least the other thing that has made us to be a ‘power houses’ is the fact that we have an amazing manager who goes by the name Rodna, who is also a designer.
To be fair with other designers I have heard that other designer face incidents that, someone inquiries from them about a particular brand, and it’s actually 3 of us in he brand ringing different elements together into next piece.
Q: Your brand has been classfied as more of being a feminine brand how far true is that and if it’s the true why did you selected that side of industry?
A: We selected it because it’s more interesting you can also be more creative in the feminine side, than the men’s wear, the bottom line is basically we are into couture. Couture is basically for women and in addition we learnt couture from where we obtained our fashion studies.
Q: When it comes models, how do you select whom to work with or there is an agency that your own brand is signed to work with if yes (why that agency)?
A: As a brand we have two Photographers that we work hand in hand, Puzzle Moment and Arika Mani.
They provide to us a theme for a gown/dress, and they select a model of their own choice and on their own also they select the setting of where the shooting will be conducted.
Q: When one talks about models and designs the first thing that comes to his mind is a fashion show. You haven’t exhibited in any fashion show, if given an opportunity which shows are you planning to exhibit in?
A: One of the main fashion shows, we would like to be part of, as exhibitors is the Mozambique Fashion Week, we are praying and hoping to be in their list one day.
I hear it’s going to be happening this year, our fingers are crossed.
Also, we won’t mind taking part in any other regional or international fashion show.
Q: Lastly as a brand you have been nominated for the BAAzw, what does it mean to your your nomination and also if your scope the award?
A: As for the BAAZW Awards we are excited to be in the list as nominees the Bulawayo Arts Awards, is one of the biggest ceremonially event in Bulawayo and in Zimbabwe. If we win the gong it we will be a big gift to us as a brand, if not, it will be ok as there is also a next time and we will continue doing our job and don’t forget, we are still new in the industry we have a lot to showcase.
Author: Rubaya Tapiwanashe is an award winning senior journalist at 263 Africa Media who reports, East and Southern African stories. In addition, he conducts showbiz (fashion and modelling) stories from across Africa. He also freelances for media houses such as, Play Afrika TV and model guide mag-.