Kigali Fashion Week (KFW) has signed a new partnership with a Belgium-based company to boost its global reach.
As part of the deal, BerexInvest Corporation, an export and investment Europe-based company will organise a ‘Made in Rwanda’ Tour in partnership with KFW.
During a press conference held on Saturday in Kigali, BerexInvest signed a memorandum of understanding with Kigali Fashion Week, embarking on a partnership that will see the former facilitate the creation of three fashion events in Europe.
According to the organisers, the KFW will eventually rebrand to ‘Kigali International Fashion Week’ following this partnership.
“We are excited by the new partnership we have entered with BerexInvest, a company which has a strong mark not just in Belgium but also other European countries. This will see us realise a dream of becoming Kigali International Fashion Week,” said John Bunyeshuri, the founder of KFW.
At the backdrop of this new partnership, Kigali Fashion Week wants to host a big inaugural fashion event in Brussels, Belgium, which will be preceded by two mini events expected to take place in Berlin, Germany as well as Amsterdam in Netherlands.
He said that they are targeting Brussels because they believe there are more Rwandans and friends of Rwanda.
“We are told that there are more than 80,000 Rwandans and other friends of Rwanda in Brussels. We want to take advantage of this audience,” he noted.
Initially the Belgium event was slated to take place this November, 2017 but organisers pushed it to next year.
“We have been working closely with the Rwandan embassy in Belgium in particular with the ambassador who later was given new responsibilities. This change altered the planning, and we had to move it to next year,” explained Bunyeshuri who’s also the Chief Executive Officer of KFW.
Dieudonne Ntasinzira, the CEO of BerexInvest Corporation, said that partnering with Kigali Fashion Week is a strong belief in Made in Rwanda and efforts to help take local brands to the global level.
“We are Rwandans but our company is based in Belgium. We believe in local talents and brands and this partnership is a testament to our belief and the commitment to promote local initiatives,” he noted.
Bunyeshuri mentioned that they are becoming international and that the idea mainly is to promote ‘Made in Rwanda’, not just products but also talents and everything that Rwanda can offer.
“We are working closely with different embassies and global fashion media houses. We hope this is going to be bigger and will put Rwanda’ fashion at another level,” he said.
Eight local models and 10 designers were chosen to represent others in these upcoming events, but organisers said they will use more than this number most of whom are based in Europe.
According to the organisers, the main event in Brussels is expected to take place from March 19-25, while the two pre-events will be held on January 12- 14 (Berlin) and January 26-28 (Amsterdam).
Organisers revealed that former Miss Rwanda Queens, Doriane Kundwa and Colombe Akiwacu will showcase local designs at these upcoming events.
During the main event, organisers highlighted that they are planning to have a mini expo showcasing some of the locally produced products including coffee and tea as well as tourism products, among others.