Kigali Fashion Week 2013

Shot taken by yours truly. :-)
Shot taken by yours truly. 🙂

Kigali Fashion week 2013….. Where to begin?

Well organized, great set-up, very interesting vibe, beautiful people. That sums it all it, doesn’t it? Oh and “okay” collections. I say “okay” because nothing really stood out from the show casings well except of course the South African designer’s “Naked Apes”.. way ahead of us. The collections were not far different from last year’s, sheer and kitenge combos made a comeback. Someone tweeted during the show and said “I wonder when African fashion will get past kitenge.” I wonder the same thing and don’t get me wrong, I love African print and I believe it being at the top of our brand is rightfully so but still think we shouldn’t limit ourselves to this print.

So back to the show, in comparison to last year I would say there was tremendous growth, in more than just one aspect; the organizing, the venue – perfect, the turn up – God bless whatever cave all the people that showed up, came from. 🙂 I say this because it was close to empty last year.  This goes to show that this industry is growing fast and more people are acknowledging it. The vibe, oh the music, the DJ was superb! I gotta say though, it started late 8pm turned into 10pm thanks to the DJ we really did not care that much. And it was pretty brief because by 10:30pm it was over. I remember looking to my girlfriends “that’s it?” I guess I just wanted more.

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Uzuri collection. Photo source: KFW Photo credit: David McIntyre

The collections; there was enough kitenge of course, sheer here and there, plus a few denim, leather and animal print pieces. There were some nice pieces but nothing that got me off my sit to go “WHOAH that’s AMAZING!” AGAIN except the menswear by the S.A designer and y’all know how much I’m a sucker for menswear so I’ll leave it at that. I was particularly disappointed by Ikanzu designs, last year they had something going on, this year, not so much. If I had to pick my favourites it would be Africana Exquisiteness, Inzuki designs and Uzuri collections.

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Inzuki Designs. Photo source: KFW Photo credit: David McIntyre

But then again this is all new around here, I mean we just started out a few years ago so there’s pretty much room for improvement, bear with me for being so impatient. I’m only looking for us to catch on to other African fashion capitals like Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi  and also go international which I’m sure we will, very fast.

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Africana Exquisiteness. Photo source: KFW Photo credit: David McIntyre

Another thing, the number 1 aim for fashion week is sales, entertainment is secondary. I believe that lookbooks must be given to guests at a fashion show/week. These have images of items being shown, as well as contact information of the designer. These are important because the press refer to them when they do their write up as well as potential customers. So, there were no lookbooks available and interested buyers don’t want to go backstage looking for the designer to ask how much an item is. That was a wrong move on part of both the organizers and designers. I remember a show I went to, guess it was Rwanda clothing; where there were business cards(at least) on the seats for interested buyers. So I hope they incorporate that next year.

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Inco Icyusa. Photo source: Inco Icyusa

Oh, and Urban boys… Great artists.. for the wrong crowd.

I’d like to see a day of KFW dedicated to panels which could feature established designers giving advice to emerging designers. I’d like to see panels where the future of the Rwandan fashion industry is discussed, the role of bloggers etc.

Did you attend KFW? What did you think?

S.K

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2 thoughts on “Kigali Fashion Week 2013

  1. Great review, it sure was an amazing night.
    Far better than last year’s but I think we had less designers or less performance breaks. The dj was so on point and bdw we were supposed to get free drinks as part of the entrance fee and they said ngo free drinks are over! Mmhhhh not nice. but over all it was great.

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