Rwanda’s fast rising designer Olivier Niyitanga of Tanga Designs participated in this year’s Mercedes Benz African Fashion Festival that took place in Accra, Ghana. He showcased his ready-to-wear collection ‘I am Mercedes Bae’ in the week-long fashion festival that started on July 21. His collection was inspired by the Mercedes Benz car.
“I was incredibly grateful and excited to showcase my collection at the Mercedes Benz African Fashion Festival. It was an honour to take part in such a high profile event aimed at exposing global markets to the fashion industry, while providing emerging designers an international platform to display their collections,” said Niyitanga.
The grand runway show was held from July 29 to 30 at the World Trade Center in Accra city. Over 37 fashion designers showcased their collections with 55 runway models.
The 21- year old designer, who is known for his unique designs, said he was overwhelmed by the opportunity to participate at the event where he showcased a total of eleven outfits that were created from beige material and rare colours of spiced pumpkin.
“I used different fabrics with rare colours to create style and elegance, and my efforts paid off because many people at the event appreciated my collections,” said Niyitanga.
The designer said he picked a lot of ideas from the show.
“I was challenged but also impressed by all the designers that showcased. Models also showed a high level of professionalism,” he explained.
At the event, Niyitanga met with Chidinma Obairi, a Nigerian designer, whom he hopes to partner with in future.
“I have always wanted to dress celebrities because they attract a huge audience wherever they go, especially for high profile functions like red-carpet events, but because in Rwanda we hardly have such, I am forced to make clothes for all classes of people,” he added. He said he hopes to see his brand worn by most people in Rwanda and across the region. He plans to start exporting his creations overseas.
He urged local designers to be more creative and invent unique materials to make the fashion industry more competitive.