Bongani Ndlovu Showbiz Correspondent
THE Matabeleland Fashion Week launch at the Heath Streak Cricket Academy on Saturday night lived up to its billing with the who’s who in the fashion industry gracing the red-carpet event that was filled with glitz and glamour.
The launch which served as a precursor to the main event taking place next year, was also a fashion exhibition platform. Ten local designers took turns to showcase latest fashion and cultural trends.
Among the designers were Maida Marimo who last year showcased at the New York Fashion Week, Ara Kani and Wanani Baker from Plumtree who won the Best Female Designer accolade at the Matabeleland Fashion Week launch party.
Notable faces on the ramp were Face of Africa finalist Tholakele Dlamini and R‘n’B singer Alaina who showcased 15 looks from the designers. Those who attended the event were nicely dressed with women outdoing each other with elegant colourful outfits.
Designers and fashionistas were also awarded at the launch with Mbo Mahocs winning the Female Style Icon of the year award ahead of Nyasha “Diva” Mtamangira and Nkanyeziyethu Malunga. Gilmore Tee won the Male Style Icon of the Year award ahead of Craig Zoowie and Crux. Ndau Collection won the International Fashion Contributor.
The winners were visibly elated, with most saying they were encouraged that their efforts were being recognised.
“I am humbled at winning the award of Female Style Icon of the year. We do this to uplift fashion in the city and in the country,” said Mbo Mahocs.
Gilmore Tee Moyo said he was overjoyed and would continue working hard to put the fashion industry on the international map.
As a token of appreciation, Ndau Collection gave away leather wrist bands to some in the crowd.
The main highlights of the night was however the display by the Bulawayo Board of Designers who came up with a piece themed on women sexual abuse named Feel the Pain. The piece had colours that told the story of the pains that women face when they are abused.
White symbolised innocence, red and black for the affliction that women suffer when they are abused and a mixture of all the colours to show women had conquered the suffering of gender-based violence. Their piece won the Outstanding Display Design Award. Matabeleland Fashion Week founder, Amanda Mutangadura, said she was happy that her hard work had come to fruition and was looking forward to the main event next year. “There is a tentative month for the Matabeleland Fashion Week and that would be sometime in October. It will stretch for four days and with this good response from sponsors and the general public, it promises to be a big event,” she said.
Mutangadura said the whole purpose of the event was to celebrate contributors to the fashion industry who come from the Matabeleland region.
And the winners are:
Female Style Icon of the Year: Mbo Mahocs
Male Style Icon of the Year: Gilmore Tee Moyo
International Fashion Contributor: Ndau Collection
Best Male Model: Ndodana Ndlovu
Best Female Model: Shahira Ishamel
Best Male Designer: Nkululeko Ncube (Ara Kani)
Best Female Designer: Wanani Baker (Umlongo)
Outstanding Photographer: Natasha Mhone (Tasha Creations)
Outstanding Makeup artiste: Barbra Nicholas
Promising Upcoming Model: Kaycee Oosthuizen
Outstanding Hairstylist: Mark Curl
Sponsor of the Fashion Week: Print Serve.