Kigali Fashion Week is back, but all is not well

John Bunyeshuri is the brains behind the Kigali Fashion Week. Courtesy.

Arguably the biggest fashion event in Rwanda, the annual fashion gala—Kigali Fashion Week will soon take centre stage, in what organisers have promised to be a bigger and better show.

Now in its 10th edition, the show will take place from July 4-6 at Kigali Serena Hotel, and will showcase designs from 10 local and international fashion designers.

The annual fashion gala is organised to promote locally made garments by local designers, and support Rwandan designers expose their fashion creativity to the international market.

As the longest running fashion runway event in the country, it has seen an incredible rise and is, as a result, regarded as a great platform for local fashion designers and models to showcase their creativity and talents in the industry.

According to John Bunyeshuri, founder of Kigali Fashion Week, the event will be unique and diverse as they expect to have extraordinary creative fashion designers, who will be showcasing the latest fashion trends, particularly for the promising designers as well as international designers and models.

“I had managing partners last year, who did not organise to my expectation but this year I am in charge. This years’ edition is going to be well organised, with 10 designers from different countries, including US (Atlanta), and UK (Georgia), and the setup is going to be different,” he told The New Times.

On June 13, local models will have an opportunity to showcase their modeling skills at Sports View Hotel in Kicukiro, where the best will be selected to take part in the fashion show, while the casting call for international models is slated for July 1.

Models display different collections at a past Kigali Fashion Week. /Courtesy. 

Launched three years ago, the Kigali International Fashion Week is also slated to take place in August in Tokyo, Japan and will feature designers and models from Rwanda and Singapore. Mid next year it will then be hosted in Europe and North America to grant local designers and models the chance to expose their creations and skills to a bigger global audience.

Meanwhile, despite the fashion show being a success locally and on the internationally scene in the past, Bunyeshuri revealed that of late the event has been facing sponsorship hurdles, which have hampered its progress.

He ranted about how some officials from a renowned corporate company he was seeking sponsorship from, have not been cooperative and demand for ‘cuts’, which has hindered the show’s growth.

“I did not want to host the show this year, because of sponsorship issues. We have some officials, who instead of being supportive are asking for bribes from us. If we do not get the right companies to work with, Kigali Fashion Week will stop being hosted in Kigali this year,” the furious Bunyeshuri said.

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