THE BEAT: Countdown to Swahili Fashion Week 2019

Friday November 29 2019

Model walking down the runway in Doreen Mashika

Model walking down the runway in Doreen Mashika design at the 2018 SFW. PHOTO | SDR PHOTOGRAPHY 

By Peter Muthamia

If you haven’t drooled over African glitz, glamour and more, Swahili Fashion Week 2019 promises you trends unseen – at least, not quite yet. Models will be making an appearance on the runway, among other activities, making quite the impression this year in some stellar designs, including exquisite African prints and fashions. Expected effects are creation of sparkling looks via the use of locally designed apparel featuring yellow, green, blue and purple tones, to match the event. The combined effect promises to be poetic and magical.

The East African coastal region has over time produced some of the most versatile designs that bespeak Africa and are increasingly becoming vogue the world over. The event is the premier event redefining fashion sense prevailing in East Africa. This event exhibits products like Kitenge, Khanga, Kikoi and other derivatives.

The Swahili Fashion Week, East Africa’s premium fashion show is here with us and Fashionistas are waiting for the event with bated breaths. Haute Couture lovers, enthusiasts and revelers will be feasting their eyes on exquisite designed garments, perfumery, accessories and bazaar from East Africa’s top-of-range designers. The event will be held on Dec, 6th to 8th at Serena Hotel, Dar es Salaam

A comprehensive fashion and apparel fashion event, attendees look forward to SFW for it sets the market trends across East Africa, especially for the locally manufactured apparel. Top Industry stakeholders come and forge business engagements.

Besides catwalk, this year’s event will feature some new and budding designers jostling for various awards. Washington Benbella Emerging Designers Competition Award 2019 will provide plenty of promotional and branding opportunities for their fashions. The award is in memory and honour of the late Washington Benbella (1989-2016), a young man who was very passionate about his fashion work. He worked with 361 Degrees Africa for more than five years as a fashion coordinator and later as the project manager for Swahili Fashion Week.

The Award themed Vazi la Taifa kwa Mtazamo wa Vijana, which when literally translated means “National Dress from youth perspective” will showcase youth’s perception of what national dress should entail – what pervades their minds when “national dress” is mentioned.

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Featured also will be a Bazaar that is a platform where fashion, accessory designers and other stakeholders will exhibit and sell their unique, often hand-made clothing, accessories and products.

The Bazaar attracts local and foreign exhibitors who are ready to showcase their merchandise to an eager crowd keen on getting their hands on chic fashion products.

The Bazaar also captures the spirit, style and essence of the Swahili coast. In this upcoming season, the focus will be placed firmly on people who epitomize the best of the East African fashion industry, with products that have a strong global appeal.

SFW does not only provide different avenues for the fashion world in terms of the runway showcase, its workshop, a unique forum for leaders from Tanzania’s world of fashion, textile and apparel helps people in the industry connect and share ideas, skills and insights, and find new collaborative opportunities that can help Tanzania achieve its ambition of industrialization by 2025.

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