Designers head to Malawi

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By Neo Kolane

Winners of the Lesotho Fashion Week (LSFW) wool and mohair design contest are set to showcase their wares at the Mzuzu Fashion Week in Malawi from October 26 to 31.

Mzuzu Fashion Week is in its sixth year and is Malawi’s number one platform for designers, models and fashion industry professionals to launch their brands.

The event will kick off with a fashion cocktail at Malville Boutique Hotel in Lilongwe and it will incorporate a series of virtual fashion talks that will discuss Malawi’s fashion industry, the challenges faced by designers due to the Covid-19 pandemic and propose ways forward in a bid to put Malawi’s fashion industry on the international map.

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Lesotho Fashion Week is the only high profile business to business marketing platform for fashion, footwear, accessory and jewelry in Lesotho. By acting as the optimal platform for a designer to start, develop and grow their business from, LSFW promotes showcasing designers to the media, retail buyers and their clients both in Africa and internationally.

In order to help Lesotho farmers to secure markets domestically, on April 14, LSFW launched the Wool and Mohair Design Contest whereby local fashion designers that use wool and mohair as a primary yarn in the production of their pieces were invited to apply.

The application deadline was on June 30. Following the deadline the best local fashion designers were shortlisted and competed in a series of online fashion challenges where the general public was invited to vote for their favourite designer, either via Instagram or Facebook voting.

The founder of LSFW, Mahali Granier told theReporter that each week that one designer with the lowest public votes was eliminated.

“At the end of September, three designers left in the competition were Avant Cee Elle, Cograbig and Da Vna Designs. The overall winner was scheduled for announcement on October 31.

Granier said after much thought and consideration, the executive board of LSFW came up with the best possible strategy to help the farmers secure domestic markets for their wool and mohair while simultaneously providing a much needed cushion and extensive marketing for the three remaining fashion designers to help their small businesses overcome the negative impact of COVID-19.

“Since its launch, LSFW has been at the forefront of promoting and nurturing young local talent. It only therefore makes sense that in line with the ambitious goal, we have decided to declare the three designers as the joint winners of the inaugural Lesotho Fashion Week Wool and Mohair Design Contest,” Granier added.

“The three designers will each showcase a full ten-piece collection made of wool and mohair, for free at the next season of LSFW valued at M20, 000 each,” Granier said.

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