FOR years the local fashion design industry has been underestimated as a useless fraternity where fashion designers could not make a living out of it.
However, for one celebrated multi-award winning fashion designer Thembani Mubochwa Zimbabwe is a rich market full of opportunities to express creativity.
B-Metro caught up with the designer and filed this report.
Q: What made you relocate to Zimbabwe after establishing your name in the lucrative South African fashion design industry?
A: I saw Zimbabwe as a rich market full of opportunities which other designers were not capitalising on. In 2016 I decided to retrace back to the country to change the game using the skills and experience I attained from the South African fashion fraternity.
Q: You have spent some time as a fashion designer in South Africa, how is the industry there different from Zimbabwe?
A: In South Africa fashion is taken seriously as a business and there are a lot of platforms for fashion designers to showcase their creativity like the Durban July and other red carpet events which is a thing that is lacking in Zimbabwe where designers can showcase their crafted materials.
Q: You were recently appointed as the ambassador for Zimbabwe National Parks, how has the deal contributed to your career?
A: Being recognised by such a big corporation is a sign that people follow my work, it shows that local fashion design industry is growing on the right track as before designers were taken for granted but now there is an element of seriousness and the industry is now recognised as a business.
Q: From your perspective, what is missing from the local fashion designers?
A: Local designers dona��t have a mutual relationship with celebrities, that destroys the whole sense of being a fashion designer because for your work to be recognised you must mingle with celebrities and dress them in order to turn your creativity to business as dressing artistes will attract more customers to buy and follow your brand.
Q: You dress Jah Prayzah, does that mean you are the best designer in the country?
A: I cana��t say I am the best but the work I am doing is the one which has to justify that. I dressed the late South African gospel singer Sfiso Ncwane and did on-set designs for soapies like Generations and Muvhango, so I treat dressing Jah Prayzah as a business like what I did with other artistes I have designed for previously.