Lovemore Meya Arts Correspondent
Chitungwiza-based fashion designer Tarisai Gweje needs assistance to take up an invitation to participate at Africa Fashion Week London set for August 8 and 9 in the United Kingdom. The venue for the exhibition will be Olympia Westhall in Kensington, which will see Gweje join the world’s best designers, if she makes it. “I am looking for the participation fee, air ticket and accommodation bringing the total to £3 000 or $1 500.
Gweje was chosen to represent the country after designers fell in love with her works at a similar show held in Nigeria last month.
“In January this year I came across information about AFW that was to hold its second edition, so I applied. The owner of the show, Ronke Ademiliyi, a Nigerian, was impressed and asked me to send my details and previous works,” she said.
In Nigeria there were more than 65 designers drawn from across the world with Gweje being the only Zimbabwean designer and the majority being Nigerian nationals.
Gweje’s participation led to an invitation to the Pure Fashion Market scheduled for August 3 to 4.
“The show allows fashion designers to sell their designs to the corporate market for manufacturers and individuals who may want to do mass production,” said Gweje.
Gweje said it was a challenge demanding her to work harder to come up with a unique product which is African and appealing on the international market.
In Nigeria, she exhibited “Avante Garde” and “Ready to Wear’ collections. Currently, she is working on nine gowns under the “Ready to Wear” and “African Evening Gowns” category with an African theme and three pieces of Avante Garde.
The designer was also invited to France for the Africa Fashion Reception but could not meet the financial requirements.
Thus Gweje is desperately hoping that this time her dream will come true.
The “Chaivo Designs” founder is a holder of a Diploma in Fashion Art in Design and a certificate in Pattern Making from Harare Polytechnic which she attained in 2005.
Fashion Week howcase is a platform where designers display their work, have the opportunity to meet different fashion promoters from all corners of the earth.
Gweje can be contacted on +263-774 041 379 or email firstname.lastname@example.org