BULAWAYO has produced many notable fashion designers, but one cannot rule out the unimaginable and creative works of Litso — a fashion label by 25-year-old Annie Maliki — who if given the platform and support could go on to conquer the world.
To her, this is just the beginning of a journey that will usher her to stardom. She started designing at an early age before taking it as a career.
“I was taught all the art I know by my parents. My mum used to sew and my father is a cartoonist so they basically laid down the foundation for my career.
“I have been designing since childhood, but I decided to take it up as a career in March last year,” she said.
The Bulawayo-born designer is the third girl in a family of five. She did her high school at St Columbus and advanced for a diploma in marketing at Speciss College.
In her short career Litso has become a notable brand in the city and also in the country.
“Litso is named after my three-year-old daughter — Madalitso. Her name means blessings in Nyanja. My brand is all about celebrating the modern African woman. The designs are a fusion of different cultures,” Maliki said.
In her first year she made it into the top 10 young designers at Zimbabwe Fashion Week held last year in August.
“The Zimbabwe Fashion Week was the biggest highlight of my career and I learnt a lot from it. Then I showcased at the Clothing Indaba and Fashion in the Park for Miss Earth Zimbabwe 2013,” she added.
“From that I have learnt to be more creative and I have grown. I’m more professional than I was before.
“My designs encourage people to be bold and to wear stuff that you wouldn’t normally wear on a daily basis, for example detached collers.”
Not only is she a mother and fashion designer, but a budding singer as well.
“I am more into R&B. To me music is just a hobby, but I am thinking of dropping a single in the second-half of the year.
“Being a mother and designer is a bit hard sometimes, but I try to spend as much time as possible with my baby because I travel a lot. My family is very supportive they even help me get resources to grow my brand,” she said.
Quizzed on where she would be in five years, her response was: “I will be running my brand regionally. Litso will be found in most southern African countries.”
She described fashion in short as “the expression of your character through dressing”.