Empress Prim wearing one of her designs

Designer reaches for the sky

Langalakhe Mabena
BULAWAYO fashion designer Empress Prim, real name Fikile Ncube of the a�?Empress Prim Designsa�?, is a woman on a mission to coin it in the local male dominated fashion design industry.

Even though she has less than a year in the fashion design scene, the 26-year-old Mzilikazi-bred young woman has a unique taste that has grabbed the attention of a lot of prominent artistes and models in Bulawayo such as TV presenter Princess Mpofu.

Her designs have also been donned by contestants of pageants such as Miss Winter Harare, Miss Valentine Victoria Falls, Miss Zimbabwe School of Mines, Miss Bulawayo Junior, to mention a few.

B-Metro caught up with the slim model-cum-fashion designer and filed this report.

Q: You are one of the fastest rising female fashion designers in Bulawayo. What inspired you to be a fashion designer?

A: I started as a model at the age of 18. With time I grew up and started understanding the business and connection between modeling and fashion designing.A� I then decided to start my own fashion design company which I named Empress Prim Designs last year in August.

Q: Who is your role model?

A: My role model is local fashion designer Nkululeko Ncube. He has taken local fashion to different parts of the world which is also my dream.

Q: How competitive is the local fashion design industry?

A: The local fashion design scene has got a lot of seasoned and up-and-coming fashion designers who are doing well but the only thing that is lacking is creativity and uniqueness. They all copy each other on many designs. This kills competition because at the end of the day we get one type of an end product designed by different designers.

Q: What challenges are you facing as an up-and-coming designer?

A: In Bulawayo there are a few fashion design shows which can allow us to showcase our creativity, actually we dona��t have our own Fashion Week like Harare, so this makes it hard for fashion designers to push their products to the masses.

A: From your perspective, what can you say about the future of Bulawayo fashion design?

A: There is a number of females who are dominating the fashion design scene at the grassroots level, if we push very hard I believe they will be the future of the local currently male-dominated design scene.

Q: What tips can you give to people who wish to be fashion designers?

A: Being a fashion designer is a well-paying profession if you are hardworking and your creativity is unique. It takes patience to be a fashion designer therefore I encourage people who want to join the profession to come on board with different styles, taste and sense of fashion that can make our country competitive like other African countries.