Malawi’s Edna Mkandawire of Zoe Kernel fashion brand is among over 15 African designers lined up to showcase at this year’s Tshwane Fashion Festival scheduled to take place from May 12 to 13 at State Theatre, Mable Foyer in South Africa.
The 4th edition of Tshwane Fashion Festival was held at the Jah Down 012 in Pretoria, South Africa from April 15 to 16 2016. The event, which included 20 designers and 40 models from South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Nigeria, Botswana and other African countries, was followed by another successful festival in Washington DC, USA.
Nellie Donga, Chrissy Manda and Alex Chinyamula are some local designers who have showcased at previous events in South Africa.
Confirming the development, Mkandawire, who is Zoe Kernel founder and a graduate in Fashion and Design, said she was thrilled and looking forward to showcase at the event.
“I feel excited to be part of those showcasing. Building brand awareness is always a good thing. My expectations are that it could be a ground-breaking exposure where I get to meet buyers and most of all enjoy a new experience at the State Theatre,” said the Malawian fashion designer.
After graduating in Fashion and Design in 1995, Mkandawire went on to study accounting in 1996. From 1996 to 2013 she had been practicing as a designer on a small-scale, mainly working with individual customers, designing Matric dance outfits.
“In 2013 I was involved with Fashion Week Malawi which was organised by DawaLoga. My focus is mainly ladies wear specifically evening, formal work and casual wear. I mainly work with individual clients,’’ she said.
According to Mkandawire, Zoe Kernel is a growing brand, building its market mainly from repeat individual customers.
She said her desire is to grow the brand and have presence in main retail shops in Africa and eventually the world.
Tshwane Fashion Festival is a brainchild of Retro Vintage Kolektion (RVK), a fashion brand owned by Malawian Bongani Tambo and South African EsnartNkosi.
The 2017 edition of Tshwane Fashion Festival has attracted not only designers from other countries and guests, but also companies from other countries who requested to have the event being hosted in two cities.
Tshwane Fashion Festival has also invited a number of people to talk about xenophobia and requests embassies, organisations and companies to join the fight and unite Africa through fashion.