Malawi’s Edna Mkandawire of Zoe Kernel fashion brand is among over 15 African designers lined up to showcase at this year’s Tshwane Fashion Festival scheduled to take place from 12 to 13 May at State Theatre, Mable Foyer in South Africa.
The 4th edition of Tshwane Fashion Festival was held at in Pretoria, South Africa from last year in April. The event which included 20 designers and 40 models from South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Nigeria, Botswana and other African countries was followed by another successful festival in Washington DC, USA.
Nellie Donga, Chrissy Manda and Alex Chinyamula are some local designers who have showcased at previous events in South Africa.
Confirming the development, Zoe Kernel founder Mkandawire, a graduate in Fashion and Design said she was thrilled and looking forward to showcase at the event.
“I feel excited to be part of those showcasing. Building brand awareness is always a good thing. My expectations are that it could be one of a ground breaking exposure where I get to meet buyers. And most of all enjoy a new experience at the state theatre,” said the super excited Malawi fashion designer.
After graduating in Fashion and Design in 1995, Mkandawire went on to study accounting in 1996. From 1996 to 2013 she had been practicing as a designer on a small scale mainly working with individual customers designing Matric dance outfits.
“In 2013 I was involved with fashion week Malawi which was organised by Dawa Loga. My focus is mainly ladies wear, evening, formal work and casual wear. Mainly working with individual clients, some of my designs can be found at Smooch boutique at North Riding shopping centre, usually these capsules run out as soon as they land on the shelf,” she said.
According to Mkandawire, Zoe Kernel is a growing brand building its market mainly from repeat individual customers.
She said her desire is to grow the brand and have presence in main retail shops in Africa and eventually the world.
Tshwane Fashion Festival is a brainchild of Retro Vintage Kolektion (RVK), a fashion brand owned by Malawian Bongani Tambo and South African Esnart Nkosi.
The 2017 edition of Tshwane Fashion Festival has attracted not only designers from other country and guests, but also companies from other countries who requested to have the event being hosted in two cities.
Commenting on the matter Tambo said, “The most exciting thing about this year’s festival is that the week before the event (5-6 May), the same designers will be showcasing in Botswana at the RVK Botswana Fashion Festival which is sponsored by Orange Botswana. Then 12-13 May the designers will be flying to the cap city of South Africa for the Tshwane Fashion Festival Autumn/Winter.”
Some of the designers who will be showcasing include Bernard Muthupi from RSA, Mayhew from Zimbabwe, Kernel from Malawi, Enlivened from Swaziland, Momonache from Cote D’ivoire, Nicole Rob from Botswana, Chilidzy from Kenya, Nokwakha from RSA just to mention few.
According to Tambo, the love for fashion is complete in its purity that it eliminates negative ideas and replaces them with an overwhelming desire to create and inspire others.
“Fashion unites people and share ideas. It is with these concepts that the 2017 edition of the Tshwane Fashion Festival was created,” he added.
Tshwane Fashion Festival has also invited a number of people to talk about xenophobia and request embassies, organizations and companies to join the fight and unite Africa through fashion.
Tambo also recently visited three West African countries (Ethiopia, Nigeria and Ghana) to discuss issues which could help eradicate xenophobic attacks through Fashion.
RVK is a fashion house dedicated to fashion designing and brand empowerment. With this year’s edition, Tshwane Fashion Festival has cemented its position as a leading fashion event not only in South Africa, but also in other African countries.