For the first time, Gorilla Fashion Week hosted a two-day fashion showcase and discussion around the fashion industry and arts in Kigali. ALSO READ: Founder of IZUBAA on becoming fashion designer, storytelling through fashion The fashion showcase, held from December 29-30, was organized by IPRC Kigali and Rwanda Fashion Model Union (RFMU) targeting to promote emerging fashion brands and connect them to potential investors from the local and international market. Gorilla Fashion Week is not just about exhibition as it kicked off with a special session on discussions about arts among artists, designers and fashion enthusiasts at IPRC-Kigali. Among 150 designers, locals and internationals, who registered for the fashion event, 45 were selected to showcase their designs at the event. Maximilien Uwaye Hategekimana, a fashionista and lecturer at IPRC Kigali, highlighted the impact of the fashion week to the industry which still faces various barriers to thrive. “The fashion industry still has obstacles in terms of materials, financial stability and skills. Gorilla Fashion Week will help emerging fashion brands to get new connections so as to attract different markets from people in the country and abroad,” Hategekimana said. Fashion brands such as Duri Fashion, Groovy Collection, H Gennes Design and Rimba Design were among the fashion brands that showcased their collections with unique couture from African to modern fashion. Anais Nishimwe, the owner of Rimba Designs, has been in the fashion industry for close to half a decade. She told The New Times that she learned a lot of skills and ideas from the fashion week. “It was a really insightful experience,” she said.