Video: How diversity ruled at Tanzania Fashion Festival

Friday October 4 2019

By Mpoki Thomson

Over the weekend, fashion lovers were treated to a night of exquisite fashion designs at the second season of Tanzania Fashion Festival (TaFF).

Set at the picturesque Double Tree by Hilton Hotel in Masaki, the fashion night out had all the actions expected at a fashion gala.

It was lights, camera, action as models made their way down the staircase leading to a runway that culminated with a stroll around the swimming pool.

While wearing some of the most marvelous designs, skillfully and elegantly the models were ushered in to showcase pieces that had been prepared for the night.

Summer was in full swing in Dar es Salaam as the ball was set rolling in front of fashion aficionados.

The host of the night was media personality and fashion enthusiast Bhoke Egina. She interacted with the crowd as she anchored the show in perfect fashion harmony. It was a night of style bliss and every one in attendance, including some of the top shots in the fashion industry felt right at home.

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The opening designer, Waiz Fashions from Zanzibar, showcased artistic pieces inspired by the theme of the night: ‘Summer’. The name of his collection was ‘From Lagos with Love:’ an attribute to his recent showcase in Nigeria. An indicator of what more was to be expected, his designs set the perfect tone of summer vibes.

With a list that included 20 designers, there was plenty more to see. Six of the 20 designers were established names in the fashion industry, while 14 were up and coming designers. Designers such as Lucky Creations, Jamilla Vera Swai, and Waiz were among the big names of the night.

“We decided to have fourteen emerging designers because we want to empower them to achieve their fashion goals by giving them a platform to showcase their work in front of an elite crowd that understands fashion,” said the festival’s founder, Deogratius Kithama.

The emerging designers were keenly chosen based on their creative ability and fashion sense. “We had to make sure who ever gets the chance to showcase has the finest of quality,” explained Kithama.

In an age where fashion has transcended different boundaries, two designers who in the recent past were alien names in the fashion world also lined their creative work. Jacqueline Wolper, now creating a name for herself with her brand Stylish by Wolper, showcased a collection which featured attires embroidered with sparkles and matching accessories.

The audience was in awe and her designs rightly received praise for their uniqueness and a touch of street authenticity.

Perhaps the most anticipated designer of the night, one who was making a debut at the fashion fest, was none other than Juma Jux. The RnB singer has cemented his name in the apparel industry by establishing one of the most recognizable brands in Tanzania: African Boy.

At the fashion event, Jux launched a new collection of African Boy - and joined models wearing his designs. He sang along as they walked the runway.

His melodious sounds escorted an artistic ensemble, all to the merriment of spectators.

Among those in attendance was celebrity stylist Johari Mohamed aka JouJou. She applauded the festival, which she says has shown more maturity from the last edition. “I attended the first edition of Tanzania Fashion Festival, and it was amazing. To see an even better event this year is truly something worthy of praise,” she said.

She loved the diversity in designs and how each designer had their own unique line of outfits to exhibit.

Another noteworthy scene at the event was the range of models selected to walk the runway.

The fashion festival didn’t exclusively stick to size zero models or the commonly associated definition of a runway model – petite in stature with an impeccable walk to boot. Models who were featured included the plus-size, those who weren’t that tall, and even the physically impaired.

It was a sight to behold as each model embraced the outfit they were wearing, showing each detail of the designs to give the audience a clear view and detail of the outfit.

Notable figures with prominent names in the fashion world present at the festival included model and stylist Macrida Joseph, award-winning stylists Rio Paul and Noel, as well as former Miss Universe Tanzania, Jihan Dimack.

Those present at the event must’ve noticed another notable figure in the modeling world pacing up and down the event vicinity.

This was international model Niler Bernard, who was not only the judge at the auditions of models, but was front and center through the entire festival – from start to finish. Bernard brought with her an expansive experience in the modeling field, having worked with some of the biggest brands in the fashion world in South Africa.

TaFF’s future rests entirely in the hands of Kithama. He plans to take it all the way, vowing to go beyond Tanzanian borders in the near future. “I want the Tanzania Fashion Festival to be a globally-recognized platform in the fashion world,” he says.

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