Local designers dress Zahara

This year the event had a different twist. Besides drawing a diverse audience, a few Zimbabwean designers managed to steal the spotlight by dressing one of the biggest acts for the 2012 Carnival.

South Africa’s songbird, Zahara, got a goodie bag comprising a jacket designed and made by Sidumiso Tshuma of Shadow By Sidumiso, a clutch bag designed and made by Nicolette Chirambaguwa-Sibanda of Niki J Bags and a set of jewellery from The Ndau Collection of Victoria Falls.

Saturday Leisure tracked the budding artistes who seized the rare opportunity to market their products.

One of the designers, Tshuma, who is behind the label Shadow by Sidumiso, was born 27 years ago in Bulawayo.

He said he made his moves into the fashion industry in 2004.

Tshuma said he ventured into the fashion industry because he has a passion for fashion.

“I have always had a passion for fashion hence my decision to take fashion full time,” he said.

He said working with Zahara was a dream come true for him.

“I was looking forward to it, it is always a great experience working with such a big artiste. When the opportunity came, I was so happy because I knew it was a milestone achievement for me as a designer,” he said.

Tshuma has showcased his works at the Umthwakazi Arts Festival, the launch of Elizabeth Chanakira Cancer Trust (Fashion Show) 2012, The CoFFashion Event 2012 and is scheduled to participate at a Garden Pop Up showcase in Harare early next month.

Shadow by Sidumiso has designed and made garments for reputable individuals such as Miss Earth Zimbabwe 2012, Dimitra Markou, when she participated in the finals in the Phillipines, Global Activist Precious Simba who received a Goldman Sachs/Fortune Global women leader’s award in California, Global Changemaker,  Gilmore T Moyo and SABC’s GoodHope FM & 5fm Sonny Jermain.

Chirambaguwa-Sibanda, a Bulawayo-based designer who specialises in female and men bags, who provided a goodie bag for the South African diva Nickie, as she is affectionately known in the local fashion scene, said she tried doing clothes and curtains but found out that her “calling” was for the bags.

“I did cutting and designing at college and soon after, I did clothes and curtains but I realised my passion was not there.

“Sometime in April last year I started doing bags and I just love doing that,” said Nickie.

She recently launched her label, NiKi J Bags at the CoFFashion Event in 2012.

Nicolette has been working on her label since end of 2010 and her bags have been seen with local public figures.

She also showcased at the Edgars’ Shoes and Straps event that was held last year at  Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel.

The young designer said although the money was coming in slowly she was optimistic she could make a name for herself from Bulawayo.

She added that she does the weaving and designs for her bags.

Nickie said having one of her bags carried by Zahara was an honour for her.

“It feels incredible because it’s good marketing for me.

“I was so happy and it’s an honour to have my works showcased by one of Africa’s biggest rising stars,” she said.

Zahara also spotted jewellery from the Ndau Collection, a Victoria Falls-based leather and accessories designer house.

The designer house participated at the Zimbabwe Fashion Week 2012, Mercedes Benz Africa Fashion Week 2012 and have been selected as one of the Emerging Accessories Designers to showcase at the prestigious trade and industry in Las Vegas next month.

Local designers have in the past years struggled to market their products in the cut-throat industry.

Last year, the majority of them were sidelined as evidenced by their absence at the annual Fashion Week held in the capital.

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