When model-cum-fashion designer Mabel Banda Khonje announced plans to launch a lingerie line last year, many did not know how far she was ready to go in the fashion accessory venture.
Her arrival on the scene was courtesy of two glittering launch events, one here in Malawi and the other in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where she is based.
But a year into her pursuit of producing the global lingerie line, Khonje has shown that she will stop at nothing to push her dream into new boundaries.
For the first time, Malawi will host an international fashion show featuring models from Malawi, Netherlands and France. The platform will be used to showcase various brands of her Boudoir by Doll Mabel lingerie designs.
“It is something that has never been done in Malawi before. It is something different and new from what we have witnessed before. It is done in other countries and I am introducing this concept here in Malawi,” said Khonje in an interview.
The lingerie fashion show at Bingu International Convention Centre this Saturday will be headlined by the South African duo Blaq Diamond. Other performers include Patience Namadingo and Sipe. The performances will be preceded by a corporate interaction.
Commenting on the strides she has made since the launch of her fashion accessory, Khonje said though it has been hard to break through, she has received a good response, both in Malawi and in Amsterdam.
“It is never easy just like any other business, but the support has been good and the way people have received the product on the market has been amazing,” she said.
The designer said she has made prices of her items as affordable as possible to penetrate the Malawi market.
She added that her target market includes everyone who can afford the items. The Boudoir by Doll Mabel designs are available online for sale.
Khonje said the fashion show is also aimed at initiating a discussion that it is normal to openly talk about lingerie.
“It is not a new thing. It is something that has been there but we need to overcome a few stereotypes. Women need to feel whole; they need to enjoy that sexiness which gives them confidence at the end of the day,” she said.
Thirteen models will parade during the event and Khonje said she will use the platform to introduce a new design.
Journalist and marriage counsellor Esther Nyanja said such innovations are necessary in the lifestyle of women.
She said fashion accessories such as lingerie help in cementing the outward beauty of women.
“Women are regarded as flowers and there are a lot of things that they need to do to sustain that status, apart from maintaining good hygiene.
“When you are looking good, your level of confidence is boosted. In a relationship, there are several ways that communication is enhanced between partners and lingerie is one of the many ways to keep that flow going,” said Nyanja.