BY TENDAI SAUTA
LOCAL fashion designer and founder of Chengetedza brand Moline Katiyo-Mayhew has successfully launched the Chengetedza National Digital Zimbabwe Fashion and Handcrafts show.
The launch was graced by local designers and representatives of Culture Fund of Zimbabwe, European Union, and the German Society.
“The digital and handcrafts show was meant to connect Zimbabwean designers to the rest of the world,” Katiyo-Mayhew said.
South African arts promoter and designer Masechaba Moloi, who was among the guests, said the world learnt from fashion designers.
“Fashion tells a story for each and every aspect of our day-to-day living as exemplified in soldiers, pastors, schools and thus denoting fashion as a language,” she said.
Ruvimbo Linda Chingoto of Sleek Missy Collections, who was among the participants at the show, said: “Working with Chengetedza was amazing. All my fascinators were made using fabric scraps, I got to explore new techniques that I now use and the guidance will forever be invaluable.”
Another emerging fashion and handcraft designer, Caroline Masvingise-Godzongere said: “When I got an invitation to participate on the Chengetedza fashion show competition, that is when I designed kimonos, handbags, sandals and skirts.”
“I use codes to create new products, curtains, bed runners, cushion covers and table runners.
Masvingise-Godzongere is preparing for another showcase at the 2021 Harare Agricultural Show ahead of the Zimbabwe Dubai Expo scheduled for next year.
Designer Catherine Tanyaradzwa Mudzimu said the fashion show was an inspirational and life-changing event that enabled networking and marketing for designers.
Katiyo-Mayhew is a woman of many creative skills who wears different jackets that include a designer, skills development consultant, trainer in the areas of visual arts, fashion and handcrafts.
She is also a humanitarian worker, visual artist and fitness enthusiast.
Katiyo-Mayhew said she was inspired and taught by her mother, a nurse by profession.
“I launched my fashion label HB Designs in 2010 at Gallery Delta in Harare. As a skills development consultant, I volunteer my time to mentor and develop skills in fashion and handcrafts for youth and women,” she said.
“As a practising designer, I bring a hands-on approach into my training with the assistance of other qualified volunteer artisans.”
Katiyo-Mayhew said her passion was to work with the youths and women encouraging them to use their God-given talents for joy and to earn an income.
“Fashion is a career, a necessity and entertainment. My designs are unique, simple cuts and those in the diaspora who love an African touch are also drawn to my garments,” she said.
“It would be interesting to see designers incorporating ethical means to promote sustainable fashion. And also create styles that use locally-produced fabrics, and hand-printed materials so that their designs remain unique.”
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that has not spared the creative sector, Katiyo-Mayhew said she was busy working on a collection and a publication which would be the first national digital fashion and handcraft show under her Chengetedza project.
“During these COVID-19-induced lockdowns, I have managed to work on a number of projects that include Our Handcrafts on the Catwalk which was selected under the second Call Creative Actions project supported by Culture Fund, Creative Actions and European Union,” she said.
“The creative sector needs to earn an income, so live fashion shows have to be done so that we can see the clothes in person and when these are closed, we now know that digital platforms will bring these shows in the comfort of our homes.”
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