It was glamour and style as local designers upped the tempo for ‘Made in Rwanda’ through their collections during the Week of Fashion at Kigali Serena Hotel on Friday.
The indoor runway show attracted mostly local designers who showcased entirely made in Rwanda designs.
Over 30 models showcased the latest collections from local fashion houses and designers like Amizero, Inco Icyusa, Uzi collections, Naked Ape, House of Tayo, Inzuki designs, Haute Baso and Sonia Mugabo.
The First Lady Jeannette Kagame and First Daughter Ange Kagame attended the event, which was organised by Collective Rw., a company that was founded by local designers; Sonia Mugabo, Teta Isibo, Mathew Rugamba, Linda Mukangoga and Candy Basomingera.
Mathew Rugamba, one of the brains behind the fashion show said that he believes togetherness will create a difference in Rwanda’s fashion industry.
At the event, numerous designs in women and men’s wear including shirts, trousers, dresses, skirts and tops were showcased. Accessories like bags, earrings, necklaces, bangles and danglers were also featured.
Designers used a number of fabrics ranging from African print, military print, chiffon, cotton, denim, linen, polyester and batik fabrics which brought out each individual designer’s unique taste and style.
Sonia Mugabo’s designs from her ‘Stella’ collection looked stunning as she mixed cotton, chiffon and polyester fabrics to come out with floral long dresses and skirts.
Mathew Rugamba also impressed the guests with his suits whose looks were inspired by the idea of African rock stars that pick their style from the west and change it a little bit. Likewise, he put a little twist in the looks of his usual suits to bring out that rebellious look.
The runway was setup with two catwalks running between chairs which gave the guests a convenient view while the models walked around with ease as they demonstrated different kinds of clothing and accessories.
Fashion lovers were seen in big numbers waiting at the entrance 30 minutes before the show began, and VIP tickets sold out days before the show.
The show was also graced by government officials including Francois Kanimba, the Minister of Trade and Industry, as well as celebrities and other fashion designers from the region and beyond.
Guests were also treated to dinner, snacks, soft drinks and beer during intermission.
George Ndirangu, a CNBC African news anchor and Rita Umuliza co-hosted the show, cheering up the full house with different jokes and also interacted with the guests at some point to have their views on how the show was progressing.
According to Denise Ngabirano, a fashion enthusiast, the show was very unique.
“I feel so delighted to see our very own designers pulling off such an awesome show. It is different from many fashion shows that have been held in Kigali. I have no doubt that our industry has a bright future with such creative heads,” said Ngabirano.
According to the founders of Collective Rw, this show will be an annual event though small events will always be organised in the course of the year to keep the momentum going.
The 90-minute show ended towards a half past 9 pm with announcements for the after party at Pilipili, marking a major milestone for the Rwandan fashion industry.