Victoria Falls to Host the relaunch of Zimbabwe Fashion Week
PRESS RELEASE: Victoria Falls will take centre stage from Friday 20th to Saturday 21st October as it hosts the much-anticipated Zimbabwe Fashion Week Relaunch 2023, a landmark event that marks the brand’s first-ever venture into the majestic location of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. Set against the backdrop of one of the world’s natural wonders, this relaunch event promises to be an extraordinary fusion of fashion, culture, and innovation.
A NEW BEGINNING
Zimbabwe Fashion Week has long been celebrated as a symbol of creativity, diversity, and excellence in the fashion industry. As it embarks on this exhilarating journey to Victoria Falls, its aim is not only to showcase the latest trends in fashion but also to open up exciting opportunities for tourists and locals alike to be part of Zimbabwe’s most significant fashion extravaganza while empowering young designers and amplifying Zimbabwe’s significance in the international fashion industry. After a 4 year hiatus, it will be held at the iconic Victoria Falls Hotel and The Wine Experience at Elephant Walk. This year’s edition will have selected designers showcase their collections at The Wine Experience at Elephant Walk during the day on Saturday 21st October with the Zimbabwe Fashion Week Creative Accelerator Program being launched in the evening of the same day at The Victoria Falls Hotel’s Pullman Suite.
“A thriving fashion industry in Zimbabwe is not merely a creative pursuit; it’s a cornerstone of a dynamic, multi-sectoral ecosystem. The interconnectedness of fashion with tourism, commerce, and various other sectors cannot be overstated. A vibrant fashion industry not only showcases the nation’s cultural richness but also serves as a powerful driver of economic growth. Relaunching Zimbabwe Fashion Week in Victoria Falls is a strategic pivot for us moving forward. Everywhere you go, fashion weeks attract tourists, support local artisans, foster retail and commerce, and ultimately enhance the nation’s global appeal. By nurturing a robust multi-sectoral ecosystem, Zimbabwe’s fashion industry can reach new heights, demonstrating that its influence extends far beyond the runway, and into the heart of the nation’s economic and cultural vitality” said Marshall Mutsamwira, Zimbabwe Fashion Week Trust Director.
Empowering Emerging Designers
The Zimbabwe Fashion Week Creative Accelerator Program underscores the importance of fostering young designers’ growth and creativity. The journey to a successful fashion career often begins with an opportunity to learn, experiment, and showcase one’s talent. This program will serve as a critical stepping stone, equipping aspiring designers with the skills, knowledge, and mentorship needed to thrive in the competitive world of fashion. The program comprises an intensive in-person and virtual workshop training session with some of Zimbabwe’s globally recognized fashion practitioners and designers including multi-award-winning Accessory Designer – Dr. Pam Samasuwo – Nyawiri of Vanhu Vamwe and New – York based designer Evelyn Lambert. Lambert’s work has been seen on the runways during New York Fashion Week and she has received acclaim from high-end boutique owners, premier media houses, celebrity stylists, photographers, and A-list fashion socialites.
Re-imagining Draping in Fashion
The theme of this year’s Creative Accelerator program is in honour of Zimbabwean spiritual leader and struggle icon Mbuya Nehanda (Charwe Nyakasikana) using the fashion technique of draping as the practical component students will learn and showcase. In fashion, draping is an essential technique that allows designers to manipulate fabric directly on a mannequin, creating distinctive and three-dimensional designs. Understanding draping is a transformative skill that enables designers to translate their imaginative concepts into tangible fashion creations.
“Draping has a rich history in Zimbabwe, deeply intertwined with the nation’s cultural heritage. Historically, traditional Zimbabwean attire was intricately draped and beautifully adorned, reflecting the diverse ethnic groups and their distinct clothing styles. The significance of draping in Zimbabwe’s history can be seen through the iconic figure of Mbuya Nehanda, a spiritual leader and cultural symbol during the First Chimurenga (1896-1897) against colonial rule. During and even after her time, women wore regal and draped attire, often adorned with traditional ornaments, which became a powerful representation of resistance and cultural identity. Their striking style exemplified the elegance and symbolism of draping in Zimbabwean culture, where clothing is more than just a garment; it’s a profound statement of tradition, identity, and resilience” said Zimbabwe Fashion Week Trust Founder, Priscilla Chigariro
Zimbabwe Fashion Week 2023 is supported by the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust and the EU Delegation to Zimbabwe’s CreativeACTIONs2 project. The project was launched in January 2023 with a focus on nurturing and empowering Zimbabwean artists and cultural practitioners across a spectrum of disciplines, encompassing music, dance, theatre, literary arts, and fashion. CreativeACTIONs2 aims to complement national development priorities by funding innovative artistic and cultural expressions, empowering civil society, promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, and providing training and skills development programs for arts and culture practitioners.
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