For some, loss of a job indicates the end of hope while for some it brings in new tidings and opportunities. The latter is true for a Harare based designer Viola Mverechena (VM) whose company, Spiwe’s Closet saw the light of day after the end of her 8-5 job.
My Afrika Magazine, human interest columnist Sympathy Sibanda (SS) held an exclusive interview with the talented designer to understand her work and what makes her tick. Follow the conversation below:
SS: Welcome to My Afrika Magazine. On this column we celebrate doers in Africa and that means you are doing something right and we noticed.
VM: Thank you Sympathy. It is my pleasure to be here.
SS: Without wasting time. Spiwe’s closet is making waves in the fashion industry. How did you start this journey?
VM: I thank every person that has ever supported my journey. It hasn’t been easy, but it’s been worth it. Spiwe’s closet was founded in 2014 after I had lost my job due to the company I was working with folding. As we were wondering what to do next, my friends and I decided to take up hobbies to while up time.
I used to love styling people and redesign my clothes, still do. I then cut my clothes and made a peplum belt that was a hit. This led to the formation of Spiwe’s closet.
SS: And the name Spiwe’s closet? Is there anything significant to it?
VM: Actually, that’s my late mother’s name. When I started, she was alive though and as someone I looked up to naming my company in her name was my prayer for blessings.
SS: How was it as a new company, finding your way and finding clients?
VM: Moving from a hobby to serious business its thoughtful. I received so much assistance from my sister’s friends in the diaspora. I would make the clothes and send to America and my pieces were a hit. This led to a quick expansion on my services as I also moved to bespoke designs for local clients.
SS: Describe your designs for us…
VM: At Spiwe’s closet we mainly focus on African print designs but also do other plain prints like dinner ball gowns, seasonal fashion for all genders and all ages. We do bespoke as mentioned earlier which means as per orders. According to seasons, when you come to Spiwe’s closet you will find ready-made garments. All the time, you will also find many accessories like jackets, scarfs, belts among many pieces that can accentuate someone’s wardrobe.
SS: What kind of people wear your brand?
VM: My brand is relatable to all. To note, I have dressed some local celebrities. My designs have been featured in local videos which has really helped in the growth of my brand. The videos my clothes were featured in are More life by Pd the Ghost ft. Jazz Prosper and Reverb and I have dressed Kamera, Simba Tagz as well as Kikky Badass at the beginning of her career.
SS: What are your future plans?
VM: I hope to expand the business through utilizing the online space. I want to have a website and sell online while also increasing visibility. My wild dream is to have my pieces selling in American stores such as Target, Nordstrom and maybe dress a few celebrities abroad. I would love to dress the phenomenal Viola Davis.
SS: Any message to your next client reading this article?
VM: My designs and garments transcend race; fashion and they speak to everyone regardless of culture. It is a global brand, and everyone should be free to come through to us, either through our social media pages or visit our store in Avondale.
SS: All the best Viola. Kudos to you.
VM: My pleasure, thank you My Afrika Magazine.