Farai Simoyi

Simoyi makes top 20 African entrepreneurs list

Bruce Ndlovu
The woman behind Nicki Minaj’s fashion line, Zimbabwean fashion guru Farai Simoyi, has been named among a host of business groundbreakers as one of the African women in business to watch in 2016.

The elite of influential women in business magazine LadyBrille picked professionals in various fields that included financial services, education, philanthropy, fashion, media and entertainment.

The celebrity Zimbabwean designer was listed fourth on the list that had Orange is the New Black actress and singer Uzo Aduba first, President and CEO of the Africa-America institute Amini Kajunju second, and owner of the popular Chik-Fil-Air franchise Adaobi Gwacham third.

Before her current gig as Nicky Minaj’s chief designer, Simoyi had already worked with big name Hollywood fashion labels, having previously been the senior denim designer for House of Dereon, the clothing label by Beyonce Knowles and her mother, Tina Knowles.

The Zimbabwean fashion designer, who had to move outside the country to get recognition for her work, has in the past acknowledged that her country of birth’s own fashion industry was well on the way to better days. She also shared tips with aspiring designers on how to crack it in the fashion business.

“The Zimbabwean fashion industry is growing and developing thanks to a group of individuals who have a love for fashion and an entrepreneurial spirit. From the Zimbabwe Fashion Week platform, to fashion magazines, to e-commerce sites, and designers that are opening themselves to the business of fashion, Zimbabwe has a bright future in changing the way we view its fashion industry,” she said.

“To run a successful business in fashion it is very important to have a detailed description of who your target market is and break down that target audience into sub-categories. This includes gender, age, income, hobbies, spending habits, career, lifestyle, relationships,” she said.