As Mzuzu gears up for the inaugural fashion week mid-October, the event promises to be more than a celebration of clothing.
It is all about art, passion and creativity as the organisers have embarked on photo shooting sessions dubbed The Road to Mzuzu Fashion Week.
It is an opportunity for Malawi’s designers to display their talent and vision through fabric, promises the event’s co-founder Wezi Mzumara.
Fashion enthusiasts should expect a variety of bridal wear, evening wear, urban/trendy wear, office wear, beach wear and pink clothes specially designed in support of breast cancer awareness in the country.
It is not a Northern Region event. It is a national event with the dream of establishing Mzuzu as the hub of fashion for Malawi that would be recognised internationally.
As such, three designers— Tazma Designs (Fame winner 2015), Za Clemoh (Fame winner 2011) and Home Grown—will travel from Lilongwe as guest artists.
These will rub shoulders with Mzuzu’s MisK, House of Towera, Creative Base Designs, Sozo Wear, African Print Madness and Tamanda Matiya.
So far, 16 models have been identified, and are undergoing training and development for the photo shoot sessions and the main event to take place between October 14 and 17.
“Fashion Week is more than a chance to show off clothing. It is a convergence of art, passion and creativity. It is an opportunity for Malawi’s designers to display their talent and vision through fabric,” says Mzumara.
While quoting reputable media outlets, Mzumara, who is also Kwanza PR founder, says internationally fashion is the major source of economic revenue, paying more than $11 billion in wages and generating about $2 billion revenue annually in New York alone.
“In addition to creating jobs and merchandise, the city attracts more numerous tourists to the city every year for fashion shows, fairs and events. Mzuzu Fashion Week would therefore like to establish Mzuzu as Malawi’s leading Fashion hub that will grow to be recognized internationally. Such a status would draw tourists and investors into Malawi’s fastest growing city, thereby providing employment and revenue,” she says.
From the event, organisers want to use some of the proceeds to support Think Pink!, an initiative that aims at reducing number of deaths from breast cancer by raising awareness on the importance of early detection of the disease.
“There will be a Think Pink! segment during the event where all the designers will showcase one pink piece. All the pieces will go up for auction and the proceeds will be donated to Think Pink Malawi,” says Mzumara.
Apart the pink segment which falls on the second day, patrons will first be treated to a preview show on the first day of the event, which also marks as the launch, where all the designers will showcase their products.
On the third day, there will be a dinner gala before winding up the following day with community activities.
“More than simply providing a platform for local designers to promote their products, the event hopes to inspire a new generation of fashion designers and entrepreneurs. These individuals could then use their skills to create jobs as well as products that may be exported.
“The event also aims to raise the standard of quality in Malawi’s fashion industry. It will serve as a place where stakeholders can network, compete and learn from one another. This would thereby lead to a greater demand for Malawian clothing and thereby boost the nation’s economic standing,” said Mzumara.
One of the participants Elton Mascum of African Print Madness promises fans to attend the event to experience trendy and classic clothing.
“African Print Madness (APM) is all about classic trends and fabrics. I am so passionate about clothes I love fashion even both my grandfather and mother were designers so I guess fashion runs in the family. Check out how we keep it trendy yet classic at APM!,” he said.