Rwanda to get a fashion upgrade

Fashionistas are practising their catwalk moves ahead of the fashion show this weekend, to offer Rwandans who love fashion new fashion tips to include in their wardrobes.
Model Alexia Uwera Mupende.  The New Times / Courtesy .
Model Alexia Uwera Mupende. The New Times / Courtesy .

Fashionistas are practising their catwalk moves ahead of the fashion show this weekend, to offer Rwandans who love fashion new fashion tips to include in their wardrobes.

Up to 15 models, (10 female and five male), will take part in the ‘The Rwandan Fashion Up-grade 2013’ slated for next Saturday, at the New Papyrus in Kimihurura.

The creative director and main designer for Rwanda Clothing, Joselyn Umutoniwase, told The New Times, that her company will present an upgraded fashion style with Rwandan and international designs.

“The Rwandan Fashion Up-grade  will be a presentation of our new spring collection. So we are now showing what will be the fashion in next spring - what it means for Rwanda after the summer when the rain season starts again in September,” Umutoniwase observed.

“We have to keep our special designs but it has to be in an authentic combination of both African and international - so that the design is interesting and new,” she adds.

Umutoniwase disclosed that they will be showcasing locally made designs mainly female clothing, especially dresses and also men’s wear in a Rwandan international style.

She adds that new combinations of different materials and fabrics will be exhibited during the fashion show.

“Leather, for example has strongly inspired me this season. So expect something new and exciting on August 24,” promised Umutoniwase.

“After this new show we want to have at least two shows a year following the two season cycle of our collections.’’ Rwanda Clothing produces a spring collection and a summer collection each year. The fashion show for our summer collection we had in Germany in May this year,” she added.

The company is also planning to host a Rwanda Clothing Day, with an aim of sharing experiences and acquiring new skills from various designers that will grace the day.

Rwanda Clothing is designed by Umutoniwase, who started working as a fashion designer in 2010. She launched her own fashion house, Rwanda Clothing Home in Kigali in February 2012.

Umutoniwase explained that the spring collection contains warmer clothes and more jackets.

“Compared to Europe, Rwanda has only summer and spring seasons regarding the climate and temperatures here. So summer is summer and the rain season we call spring,” she noted.

The self-taught fashion designer is currently living her dream. She receives applauds as the first Rwandan fashion designer and successfully selling locally made designs on the international market.

Rwanda Clothing combines classic and traditional styles with modern cuts and design, creating looks that are both casual and stylish.

The Rwandan fashion is an annual fashion show. Its inaugural show was last year under the theme, ‘Rwanda Clothing Summer Show’.

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