12 November 2018

Namibia: Windhoek Fashion Week Wraps Up in Style

THE weeklong celebration of Namibian fashion closed off on a high note on Saturday as some of the most anticipated fashion showcases took place at the Nampower Convention Centre in Windhoek.

Highlights from the ramp included Namibia Institute of Mining and Technology graduate Malina's impeccable collection. South Africa's House of Saint Luke was another showstopping collection. The designer returned for another spectacular showing after his 2017 debut at Windhoek Fashion Week. Maria Nepembe's 'RIA' also stunned, with the young creative putting out an immaculate collection of power suits. Not one to ever disappoint, Simeone Johannes was at his absolute best with his latest SynEdgy collection.

Fashion week was jam-packed with various workshops, industry talks and parties taking place over seven days. Melisa Poulton's off-site showcase on Thursday was the perfect start to the runway shows. The designer truly hosted a 'Fashion Fiesta', showcasing a colourful collection filled with tulle extravagance and pretty pastels. With Lize Ehlers lending vocals for the background music and personalities like Oteya and Ehlers herself walking in some of the pieces, the show definitely wowed in every possible way.

Speaking to The Namibian yesterday, Kalistu Mukoroli from the Windhoek Fashion Week team thanked all the partners and sponsors who contributed to the success of the event. "We had new partners on board, especially NDTC who came on board as a financial partner. We also couldn't have done it without Air Namibia, our flight sponsor. Our team also dedicated themselves and literally put their lives on hold for two weeks to make sure the event was a success," he said.

He thanked media partners and social media influencers whose coverage of the first events at fashion week drew more interest from the public. "Ticket sales were initially going slow but after the media started covering the event and fashionistas started posting about the shows, the sales literally doubled, especially after the social media noise that followed Melisa Poulton's fashion show," he said.

On the challenges that were faced, including the inconvenience caused by the changing of slots and subsequent tardiness of some of the shows, Mukoroli advised that the public make suggestions on how the process can be made easier. "The team is definitely working on making this a smoother process and we're open to suggestions on how we can avoid delays," he said.

While not free from hiccups, one thing is certain; this was the biggest and best fashion week to date and it's clear that the team behind it has made great efforts to give Namibians a beautiful experience of the finest fashion moments. With the absence of many of the designers who have been dominating headlines for some time now, the event especially gave an opportunity to many rising talents. Libi Schmidt is one of those rising stars.

The 22-year-old who is mostly self taught showcased on Friday, telling The Namibian that she sees the event as a start of greater things to come. "Showcasing at fashion week was very overwhelming but in a positive way, and it's just the beginning of positive things to come in my design career," she said.

Fashion week was attended not only by fashion loving Namibians, but the event was also graced with the presence of Zambian public relations personalities, Chishimba and Monde Nyambe who were also panellists at a fashion talk that took place earlier in the week.

- rukee@namibian.com.na; @rukeeveni on Twitter

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