NACZ director to empower  fashion designers Napoleon Nyanhi

Trust Khosa

NATIONAL Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) director, Napoleon Nyanhi, has undertaken to empower fashion designers and improve their welfare.

Nyanhi, who is guest of honour at The Herald Lifestyle fashion show on Saturday, said the sector deserves special attention.

Dubbed “Fashion & Exhibition”, the event will be held at the National Arts Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare on Saturday.

In an interview, Nyanhi, who assumed office last month, said the fashion industry was on their priority list to ensure that it catches up with other genres like music, visual arts and dance.

“The fashion industry is one of the most promising sectors in our portfolio and there are serious considerations to improve the welfare and income of local designers.

“Our focus as the NACZ is to foster a supportive ecosystem for creatives to grow and innovate and to advocate for policies and programmes that promote artistic expression and cultural diversity.

“Engagements will be made for creatives to embrace the aspects of international standards in finishing, branding and protecting their intellectual property,” he said.

The former Star FM programming manager and founding Capitalk station manager, hailed Zimpapers for hosting the show.

“This is a commendable initiative. The Herald Lifestyle has been instrumental in uplifting the fashion industry through publishing their craft and now they have taken a step further to create a physical exhibition that brings the fashion industry together.

“This is what we are advocating for as NACZ. The corporate world must assist in empowering the creative sector and take advantage of the brand mileage that can be harnessed from their prowess. We look forward to more of these fashion exhibitions.”

He urged upcoming designers to remain focused and explore the industry.

“They should continue to produce good work and participate in activities such as this exhibition and fashion show. It is the way to make their work known to the right audience. Your exposure is what makes you who you are in life.”

Nyanhi noted that the fashion industry was also critical in promoting our identity as a nation as The Herald Lifestyle fashion has come at a time when the Government is promoting the national fabric.

“The nation is now taking pride in wearing different outfits that appeal more to their demographic groups but carrying the sense of belonging and pride bestowed in the national fabric. “

The recently celebrated Culture Month saw Zimbabweans from all age groups using fashion design to portray our identity as Zimbabweans and Africans at large. As the build-up to the event reaches fever pitch, top designers billed to grace the event are raring to go.

These include Joyce Chimanye (Zuvva), Tapfumaneyi Munenga (Coco brand), Ishmael Tsakatsa (Zarguesia), Jasper Mandizera (Ivhu Tribe), Feli Nandi, Mai TT, Mai TT and Charmaine Nziradzemhuka among others.

New designers are also set to exhibit their wares at the event.

To ensure variety is guaranteed, Agga Nyabinde, Ashton “Mbeu” Nyahora Afro-fusion star Bernard Betera, Taffi, and Eleana Makombe will provide entertainment.

Exhibition space and partnership packages range from US$1 000 for bronze, US$2 000 for silver, US$3 000 for gold while the platinum one is going for  US$5 000.

The Fashion Council of Zimbabwe (FCoZ), Style Icon of Zimbabwe (SIZA), Jive Zimbabwe, Edmar Beauty and Spa, Miss Universe Zimbabwe, 4 May International and Esteem Communications are some of the partners.

Guests attending the event will have to fork out US$10 for an ordinary ticket  while a VIP ticket will cost US$50.

Popular radio personalities — Becky K and Hollywood Lee — will be the hosts of the event.

A red carpet event will also be held to ensure that the show meets international standards.

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