Charlotte Shema is a dynamic and intrepid fashion designer, and founder of Touch of Rwanda Fashion Designs that deals in men’s and women’s collections. Shema is in South Korea, where she was showcasing her collection at the just-concluded annual Busan Fashion Week.
The designer was among local entrepreneurs, who took part in the week-long 18th Busan International Footwear Textile Fashion Fair Expo, organised by Busan Metropolitan City, and hosted by Busan Economic Promotion Agency, from October 4- 10.
The annual show is one of the most highly anticipated events in the East Asian nation, in which different fashion designers and entrepreneurs from across the world meet and showcase their designs, interact and share experiences.
The event establishes a gateway to market entry in the overseas market by having one-on-one consulting with buyers from cross the world.
This year’s event has been the largest ever in scale, featuring 730 booths by 299 companies, and has shown dynamics of Busan’s fashion industry. At ‘Busan Fashion Week,’ a wide range of textile and fashion products and collections of domestic premium brands and famous designers will be showcased across the world have been displayed.
Shema told The New Times that was thrilled to take part in such a major event, and to showcase some of the fashion designs from Rwanda.
“This was a door opening for me to market my company, and to present my country…Rwanda on the international stage,” she said.
“I’m very grateful to Private Sector Federation (PSF), for choosing me among other entrepreneurs to showcase our products at the Busan International Footwear Textile Fashion Fair and Fashion Week,” she said, adding: “This is an opportunity for us to promote Made-in-Rwanda products to foreign audiences.”
Shema was born in Rwanda in the early 90s, and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance. She ventured into fashion five years ago.
In January this year, Shema founded Touch of Rwanda Fashion Designs, located in Kacyiru, a Kigali suburb, which offers ready-to-wear garments.
Shema and her company had been offering services in tailoring, and clothes to different people both men and women and kids. The boutique deals mostly in smart casual, an outfit that can be worn at the office, every day and evening for some occasions. They also design and do accessories such as bags, bed covers, napkins, pillowcases and some materials to use in home decor.
What has made her a successful fashion designer…
“Hard work and, tremendous focus, together with a sense of responsibility towards the industry that I have passion for, and maintaining my unique designs towards the clients’ demands, is what has made me who I’m today in this business.
Her experience at Busan Fashion Week…
“Busan Fashion Week is a really great platform for designers. Taking part at the event was such a great experience, and I have learned how international designers market their products and brands, something I will share with my fellow designers back home, for the benefit of growing our fashion industry.”
Advice to budding designers…
“My advice to budding designersis to pursue their dreams, and don’t fear criticism. Be confident in yourself as a designer, and don’t work in a particular personal style. Rather, develop a personal approach to your creative work.”