It is every bride’s wish to look stunning on her wedding day, for this is a once in a lifetime celebration. If you get to have more than two weddings in your life, then you are twice as lucky.
In Malawi, the readily available market for brides includes countries such as South Africa and China. However, for every bride, there is a perfect wedding dress waiting to be discovered right here as an up-and-coming fashion designer is making a name in designing wedding dresses.
From romantic ball gowns, chic sheath dresses, Sana Katsichi pursues excellence in design and craftsmanship to create a gown worth of a bride’s most treasured moments.
“Brides deserve to be at their most beautiful and the aim is not only to design and produce the perfect gown, but to provide daily inspiration for brides-to-be. Brides should feel nothing less than gorgeous on their wedding day,” she starts the interview.
Sana is treading on waters that not many of the few Malawian designers have tried; wedding dresses. She believes in fine details such as beading, dramatic backs and perfect draping. Every gown of her hands features details to set it apart and make the bride shine whether beaded lace, English net and rich satin compose gowns that are nothing, but glamorous.
“I was encouraged to start designing wedding dresses by one of my clients who gave me an order even before she saw me making them. I had never tried that, but she just trusted me that I could make her a beautiful dress. I gave it all my creativity on that dress and it came out so beautiful. I took it from there and the rest is history,” she mused.
It takes her about four months to come up with a wedding dress.
This entails sketching and having all those ideas into reality to the end product.
“I start with designing in my mind then I sketch it on a piece of paper. I then look for the right fabric with the cutting and sewing part as the final stages. All this process takes me three to four months. But for other dresses, it takes me less than 24 hours to design and sew,” she explained.
Sana has been designing for the past five years and her magical hands are the epitome of what can be described as dressing for the today woman.
Just like a majority of designers, Sana’s humble beginning into the industry that is steadily booming is not a different story.
“I started designing at a tender age and this art has always been in me. I was around 10 that time and it just came to me naturally. I used to make funny small skirts, dresses, headbands, bags through hand sewing for myself and my friends at school. Suffice to say that I also used to get a lot of compliments from my friends about my way of dressing,” said the designer.
Having lived the life of a designer in the making, Sana decided to follow her dream. This was a tough decision as it was contrary to what her parents wanted her to do; white collar job.
“My parents didn’t understand this fashion designing thing, so I studied Human Resource Management just to make them happy. When I finished, my heart never wanted to go look for a job, so I stood up and went for what I wanted, I took designing as career and went for a fashion designing course. It has been a great journey ever since,” she stated.
Other than wedding dresses, Sana specialises in women’s outfits of all kinds. She does the actual sewing on her own with the help of tailors to reduce the work load.
“I use different types of fabric depending on the designs. I use chiffon, satin, silk, taffetar, lacra and just a lot. Of course, I also use Malawian fabrics mostly on our traditional outfits. I simply describe my designs as elegant for all occasions. England’s Amsale inspires me a lot. She specialises in wedding dresses, simple in appearance, but she is doing great work,” she is optimistic.
Moving forward, Sana harbours a dream of opening her own fashion studio. But her dreams do not only end there.
“In the next few years, I see my designs worn by a lot of people both locally and internationally. I also see big shop owners running after my designs. Locally, I see myself opening my own fashion house. I believe for all this work to be possible, it took God’s favour over my life, His sufficient grace towards me and so I always thank Him for granting me this amazing talent,” responded the 27-year-old designer.