Windhoek was abuzz last week with creatives and fashion lovers from neighboring countries who came to witness the eighth episode of the annual MTC Windhoek Fashion Week (WFW).
The biggest fashion event in the country saw more than 30 fashion designers showcasing their clothing, with 15 from Angola, Botswana, Zambia, South Africa and Mozambique.
At least 1 500 people attended the four-day event.
Tatiana Diamonds from Angola, Phupho Gumede K from South Africa, Chishimba and Monde Nyambe from Zambia, and Luis Munana were among the special guests at the event.
Designer Andila Andila says the quality designers delivered was exceptional.
“The quality of the brands was the highlight of the event. I spent up to 15 days on the collection and fitting, which is inspired by African designers,” she says.
Andila, who has been part of WFW since 2016, says Namibian fashion is exceeding expectations.
“I am absolutely sure this event can be compared to the best events held on our continent, and will be launching local designers’ brands into the international arena,” she says.
Gcina Lwandle, a designer from South Africa, says creativity is time independent, and production in South Africa was a challenge in the presence of load-shedding.
“You have to schedule when you can design, because a minute later, it could be dark. This was something I struggled with while having to create my collection,” she says.
Lwandle’s collection was inspired by a mix of high fashion and street culture, and took her roughly a month and a half to complete, she says.
“For fittings I only had one day, and the next day was the show. Luckily most of the looks were oversized fits, so it made the alterations easier for me,” she says.
Model Anuschka Orren says her backstage experience was all fun and games until it was time for the runway.
“Backstage is where the bonding happens, it’s where we are at home and a family, and we go all out with the teasing and the jokes.
“But I must say when the show starts, it’s a rush. You are up and down, all over the place,” she says.
Orren says she fell from the stage once during the WFW.
“There was a part where I almost fell again, because the ramp was a bit slippery, but I kept my composure. You have to be mentally prepared, as the modelling industry is not for the fainthearted.
“I got two looks which were impossible to walk in as it was really tight, and I had to walk really slow to balance, but I have to admit I nailed it,” she says.
International designer Cecilia Solinas says she was excited when she heard the crowd clapping as she walked onto the stage.
“I was still in Angola for the AO international trade show when I received a call to say I was listed for the WFW 2023.
“I was already preparing to go home to Mozambique and had to change my destination and go to Namibia – a different country, new people, new models, new fittings – and it turned out very well. I’m proud,” she says.
Model Louise Shilongo, popularly known as ‘Snazzy’, says she liked all her looks as they were all unique, but the collections that stood out for her were those of Luis Munana, Sirenga and Andila Andila.
“It being my first fashion show, I wanted to be sure I could walk in heels right, so I practised, practised and practised. My biggest fear was to fall. Thank God that didn’t happen.
“Being in heels almost all day was quite a challenge, but I looked at it as doing leg work at the gym, so it’s a win for me,”she says.
MTC WFW director Kalistu Mukoroli says this year’s event added a jewellery masterclass on which they partnered with the Namibia Diamond Trading Company.
“The jewellery fashion show was a highlight, and also the first of its kind in the country. We also hosted Ntombela, who is brand buyer at Edgars,” he says.
Saturday’s event was delayed by an hour due to technical difficulties.
“We had technical challenges, but also Mother Nature’s strong winds blew away structures we had to fix as soon as possible,” Mukoroli says. – unWrap.online