The inaugural Alga Plus-Size Fashion Show drew acclaim from local fashionistas and dignitaries, last night, as organisers promised to make it an annual event.
The event held at Kigali Serena Hotel was an incredible night with plus-size models showcasing various collections from local boutiques, accompanied by a fantastic choice of music.
Graced by the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sports Protais Mitali, some of the designers who presented their creations include Amini Kalisa, Francis Iraguha and Aline Gahongayire.
An estimated 1,000 people attended the fashion extravaganza.
Organised by Alga Fashion Inc, founded by Aline Gahongayire, in partnership with The Beat Company, among other partners, the event aimed at changing the Western mindset that slim models are the only ones that can succeed in the fashion business.
The initiative also geared towards appreciating and developing a new dimension in African modelling and fashion industry, by creating an opportunity for plus-size models to participate in the industry.
“First, I thank God for making this event successful. Big thanks to our sponsors and to all of you who attended the show,” Gahongayire said, as she also commended the government for empowering women.
“I am overwhelmed because I didn’t expect such a huge turn up, since the fashion show was for the plus-size, not for the slim ones.
“We shouldn’t look at them as fat women, but as people who can also contribute to the country’s development.”
During the show, Gahongayire thrilled the audience as she performed a song ‘Mama’ that she dedicated to her mother, and all other mothers before requesting the men present to kiss their wives.
The event was sponsored by Rebex Forex Bureau, Ameki Color, MTN, Simba Supermarket and Nakumatt, among others.
“The show was great. The level of what they did here was amazing, especially as this is their first time (to organise such an event),” commented Peter Kalisa, businessman.
Jeannette Umutoni, a student said: “I am so happy that even extra larger women are supported to build confidence.”
Veteran Rwandan musician Jean-Paul Samputu performed his famous gospel hit ‘Karibu Mungu’ followed by Tusker Project Fame 3’s Christian Rwirangira, who also took part in training the models.
Exalting Gahongayire’s efforts, Pastor Alice Migonne said: “It is an absolute honour to speak at Gahongayire’s event. She is blessed with a good heart and talent.”
Pastor Migonne also paid tribute to the natural beauty, courage and elegance exhibited by the models despite their body sizes.
“These women are so gorgeous and talented. It’s not easy to model before such a huge crowd. We should credit them for the courage. God loves them so much,” she added.