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Bulawayo Designer Wins

Bulawayo Born Fashion Designer Sidumiso Tshuma of the Shadow by Sidumiso brand last week won the Best African Menswear Collection at this year’s Durban Fashion Recognition Awards. The awards are held to recognise fashion designers that would have participated in the Durban Fashion Fair from South African and outside

Tshuma who displayed an outstanding high quality ready to wear collection was showcasing for the third time at the Durban Fashion Fair. Shadow By Sidumiso, who initially participated at the Durban Fashion Fair in 2014, has been one of the regularly invited designers outside South Africa.

“This came as a surprise to me, I remember being on my whatsapp and twitter chatting to a few people when my name was called out as the Best African Menswear Collection. It is such an honour to have been recognised in such a vastly talented pool of designers that showcased in this year’s fashion fair. I am truly inspired by fellow African designers such as Abrantie The Gentleman, Clemas, Paledi Segapo, Thula Sindi, Ara Kani, David Tlale, Mxolisi Mkhize and many more, who keep pushing African fashion. With them in the forefront, African fashion is the future,” expressed Sidumiso Tshuma.

Sidumiso Tshuma is a self-taught designer and is the Head designer of the urban culture label Shadow By Sidumiso. The 1985 born designer was born in the City of Bulawayo and has showcased at platforms such as HIFA Style by Africa, Matabeleland Fashion Week, Intwasa Fashion Show and the CoFFashion event, among many. The label embraces individuals of different backgrounds and the collections are always a fashion journey which highlights different inspirations that have contributed to the moulding of the brand.

The City of Bulawayo was this year represented by two young fashion designers at the Durban Fashion Fair which was held at the Durban Exhibition Centre from the 31st of August to the 3rd of September in South Africa.

Sidumiso Tshuma and Nkanyeziyethu Malunga who are alumnis of Edgars Young Designer Development Programme, an initiative by Hunnar Management Agency & Edgars Stores Ltd, showcased outstanding collection which featured the current trending colour pallets, grey, black and metallic.

Their participation at the Durban Fashion Fair was as a result of the twinning relationship between the City of Bulawayo and Ethekwini. The twinning agreement was signed in 2010 and Bulawayo has been participating in the annual Celebrate Durban since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2002. Participation at the Fashion Fair started in 2014 with representation from 3 Bulawayo Designers.

Tshuma was joined by Nkanyeziyethu Malunga of GANU, who showcased a modern African all female collection using metallic grey fabrics incorporated with ilala accessories, doeks and basketry head gears.

Malunga who is also a self-taught designer entered the Zimbabwean fashion scene with designs that added an edgy yet elegant twist to both women’s and men’s fashion.

In 2013, the brand GANU was born and is the Ndebele word for the Marula fruit, from which her brand derives its name. Her creativity has caught the attention of leading fashion houses such as Edgars Stores, where she spent 4 months attached with them under the Hunnar Management Agency designer training programme.

Malunga has showcased at platforms such as the John Ablaza Couture and Culture Night by the US Embassy and the Intwasa Fashion Show. Her designs are inspired by the diverse yet similar cultures across the globe

“Showcasing at the Durban Fashion Fair is one of my highlights, this was my first time showcasing at such an international platform. I am grateful to the Bulawayo City Council for the support and Gilmore Tee for the constant nagging during the preparations, the end product is something I am proud of.

My collection represents a strong woman who understands that being sexy is about her character, her dreams and what the future holds for her. I want young women to realise that there is so much to them than what the rest of the world sees, their stories matter,” said Nkanyeziyethu Malunga.

The Durban Fashion Fair is one of the leading Fashion Events in Africa and it attracts the stature of internationally recognised fashion weeks.

The fashion event was running for 4 years this August and it was attended by thousands of fashion buyers, textile companies, fashionistas, media and industry players. Through hosting the Durban Fashion Fair programme, over 1500 temporal jobs are created and 500 are created through development, mentoring and training of designers.

Date: Thursday, 8 September 2016

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