2022 was good for the local fashion industry as the creative and art sector in Rwanda experienced recovery from the pandemic, and attracted more refined players. New fashion designers and the rise of exhibitions that showcase, exhibit, and honor fashion in Rwanda is evident that the fashion scene is steadily growing, as the country positions itself to become the next fashion hub of Africa.
Before we bid goodbye to this year, we look back at fashion highlights of 2022;
Moses Turahirwa wins African Designer at ASFAs 2022
Rwanda's renowned fashion designer and founder of Moshions, Moses Turahirwa, emerged as African Fashion Designer of the year at the Abryanz Style & Fashion Awards (ASFAs) 2022 held in Kampala, on December 16.
Turahirwa was competing against renowned designers like Larry Jay, Thebe Magugu, Rich Mnisi, Kenneth Ize and Taibo Bacar, while his brand Moshions faced big fashion houses on the African continent including African Boy, Ahluwalia World, Daily Paper, Tiffany Amber and Rich Mnisi.
The development came a few days after the fashion icon launched a new collection dubbed 'Kwanda' following 'Imandwa collection'.
King Charles, wife attends Kigali Fashion Week
Prince Charles and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall attended Rwanda Fashion Week which took place on June 23, at BK Arena.
The fashion show, which was a side event of the Commonwealth Business Forum, highlighted 16 African, Caribbean and British creators of merit, and showcased local and international fashion, accessories, and interior designers from across the world.
The local designers that participated in the show were Haute Baso, Sonia Mugabo, Inzuki, Rwanda Clothing, Uzi Collection, Izubaa, and Amike, while international designers included the British Georgia Hardinge and Maximilian Raynor, the Jamaican Keneea Linton George, the Nigerians Pepper Row and Dye Lab, the South African Pichulik, the Ghanaian Larry Jay and the Kenyans Kiko Romeo and Amu Clothing
This year, Rwanda Fashion Week promoted sustainable fashion, a key topic at the CHOGM 2022 meeting
House of Tayo features on Black Panther 2 premiering red carpet
Peter Junior Nyong'o, a younger brother to Oscar-winning actress Lupita Amondi Nyong'o, appeared on the red carpet wearing House of Tayo's collection at the world premiere of Marvel Studios' "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" held at the Dolby Theatre on October 26, in Los Angeles, California.
Junior Nyongo's Wakanda Forever premiere outfit celebrated the legacy of Chadwick Boseman, an American actor who died last year, and was designed by renowned Rwandan fashion designer Matthew Rugamba, the brains behind House of Tayo.
The return of Mercedes Benz Fashion week in Kigali
Over 100 international guests who are normally big players in the fashion industry, including 27 designers, met in Kigali this year for the six-day Mercedes Benz fashion event which returned to Kigali after a two year hiatus caused by the pandemic.
This year's edition of Mercedes Benz fashion week was bigger and better than the inaugural edition staged in 2019, with the runway featuring over 15 designers both local and international.
Renowned designers like Malawi's Lilly Alphonso that showcased Dessert collections, Kais Divo collection from Uganda, Qaal designs of Somalia, Ghana's Arshia Wilson, Thando Piliso of South Africa, among many others showcased their collections during the grand finale of the fashion week.
Local fashion houses like Jarah by Linda Muhoza, Inkingi Designs, Fashion Forward, A&M Kigali Urban, Ntare Gitare, Koni Clothing and others showcased their collections at the event.
Bianca Baby's Fashion Hub second edition
Daphine Uwamwezi Mugire, better known as Bianca Baby on Isibo TV's Take Over show and also a fashion icon, recognised Rwandan fashion during the second edition of 'Fashion Hub 'held this year on August 20.
The event, according to Uwamwezi, was held to bring together a diversity of freelancing designers to showcase their most recent individual creations. Many Rwandan celebrities attended the fashion show, each dressed by their fashion designer.
Local and regional fashion entrepreneurs including Tanzanian socialite Hamisa Mobetto and her Ugandan compatriot Abryanz and Sheila Gashumba attended the show alongside different local fashionistas.
Uwamwezi aims to create a state-of-the-art fashion showroom for all kinds of fashion enthusiasts in the future and host more red carpet events. According to Uwamwezi, the event demonstrated the Rwandan youth's desire for fashion as well as the potential to expand the Rwandan fashion industry, in which Uwamwezi will play a role.