BYO Fashion – Buy local

Umlongo Designs

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The 20th of December marked another day where local designers in the City of Kings and Queens (Bulawayo) showcased their amazing designs at the “Designer Sell-off” hosted by Hunnar Management Agency. 7 designers were brought together to sell their 2014 productions, of which their prices were relatively very fair. The 7 designers were: Ara Kani, Shadow by Sdumiso, Blinq, Umlongo, Zah Designs, Sanah Designs, and Snini Collection. The purpose of the event was not only to make the public aware of the designs, but for the designers to make way for a new leaf (new designs for 2015). I was privileged to talk to a few designers as they showcased their production. I managed to talk to Grant, who is one of the designers behind the jewelry under the brand name, “Blinq” , and I was pleased to hear that despite the challenges of access to certain raw materials and sufficient exposure, his brand is recognized internationally. He does not only have clients who are based abroad (eg. Europe), but Blinq was also showcased at the “Toronto Fashion Week” and at the “Durban Fashion Fair” which both happened this year in August. It’s good to see our local designers representing Zimbabwe in different places across the world.

I later managed to also exchange a few words with the kind-hearted and humble designer behind the brand “Umlongo”. In September, she was voted as the best female designer at the Matabeleland Fashion Week. Despite the difficulties of trying to balance her work with her family life, she gets her satisfaction by the fact that she’s doing what she loves. This is one of the main sources of her success. One of the other important things she stated was that being a designer is not all about competing and trying to win at all times, however, it’s about expressing your creativity and giving birth to new fashion styles. I believe that in Bulawayo we are blessed to have such dedicated designers who produce exquisite attires. With this being said, I would like to encourage you to “Buy Local”.


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