Christian clothing range launched
Tafadzwa Zimoyo : Arts Reporter
In a bid to cater for fashion tastes within the Christian community, local designer Edson Sibanda has launched a new label dubbed Christian Clothing and the designs will be sold in churches and retail shops throughout the country. The collection will include day wear and evening wear which include T-shirts, tracksuits and jerseys. The range will also be available in South Africa and United Kingdom in the next months.In an interview the graphic designer-cum-fashion designer Sibanda said their clothing is timeless and contemporary, appealing to everyone around the world.
“We have just launched our clothing designing collection, that is based on the Christian background. Each of my collections is unique and has its own character, usually based around themes from the art world. We are now designing our spring/summer 2016 collection,” he said.
He said though the brand is three months old, they have had some international customers with interest in their designs.
“The brand had always wanted to find a way into the foreign market and I am happy we are living the dream.
“We are in talks with some of the established multi-brand agents with showroom space in South Africa and United Kingdom who represent some of the fashion industry’s biggest names. It is a plus for us because we are penetrating the market.
“The label can be worn by anyone who has a Christian background. Our advisors have been at our side every step of the way, sharing their expertise and giving us inside knowledge on the discerning foreign market that would have taken me years to gather on my own,” said Sibanda.
Asked to shed light on some of the challenges faced in fashion industry he said lack of appreciation and support is hindering the business.
“Fashion awareness has greatly increased because of social media, blogs and forum discussions.
“There is a lot of competition in the fashion industry, not only with the rapid evolution of fashion trends but also due to the multiple channels reaching out to customers.
“To stand out from the crowd, product differentiation is the biggest challenge that fashion retailers have been constantly facing. Above all lack of support and appreciation has been a problem because people think it is a job for failures,” he said.
He said designers should embrace online networks because many people are resorting to the channels.
“If you look closely, many people are now resorting to online buying especially in foreign markets. More young women prefer to shop online since that way they can enjoy shopping anytime and anywhere.
“We are also affected by availability of space for our business and rentals have been one of the problems faced by many small and large fashion retailers with physical stores.
“Some have opted to rely on online marketing, mostly on social media, to build their brands. In fact, a good reputation on social media can actually translate into better sales,” he said