Highlights From Rwanda Fashion 2020
The fashion industry in Rwanda, like other sectors, suffered many losses last year. The industry was hit by the pandemic with a big drop in sales registered globally, as the demand for clothes and fashion accessories went down.
With the lockdown measures that were put in place by the government taking effect, fashion designers couldn’t organize any events which had been planned, hence setting them back.
Despite the challenges, this didn’t hinder new fashion entrants to showcase and exhibit unique styles. We bring you the fashion highlights of 2020;
This is a lately launched ‘Made in Rwanda’ clothing brand with a touch of Vogue and a taste for African design, It was founded by Gratia Teta, Deborah Mwanganjye, and Kessy Mugabo Kayiganwa from African Leadership University (ALU).
Ikamba Apparel comprises three young students who are hungry to follow their dream, thus eventually creating a unity that led to a business. They are all students pursuing International Business Trade at African Leadership University (ALU).
Kezem clothing brand
23-year-old Emmanuel Keza Niyonsenga is the brains behind Kezem, a new Rwandan clothing brand that ‘communicates the Rwandan story and Africa in general’.
Though his skill is mostly self-taught, he also got additional training from Rwanda Clothing, a local fashion brand where he was skilled in the significance and power of a brand, and how to work with clients to satisfaction.
He has designed many of the Iwacu Muzika festival artistes, many of whom are Art Rwanda Ubuhanzi colleagues and celebrities like Alyn Sano, among models and other celebrities.
Laurent Nsengumuremyi, also known as Nelly, 25, also sought means to penetrate the fashion industry, which is why he invented ‘Rufuku’.
‘Rufuku’ is a fabric of old-fashioned blankets that he uses to make all sorts of attires, from blazers, cardigans, to skirts, dresses, and many others.
When the government announced the compulsory wearing of face masks in public due to the Covid-19 outbreak, many fashion designers and manufacturers came on board to produce masks. While face masks range from Rwf300 (surgical masks) to about Rwf1, 000 (cotton face masks) for different sellers, Moshions drew a lot of reaction from the public as their face masks go for Rwf10, 000.
After thorough training on producing mask equipment and inspections done by Rwanda FDA, more than 20 domestic companies were authorized to repurpose facilities into the production of PPEs, in April. Although their worry at that time was that the demand for the equipment would exceed their supply, it is the opposite. By August, 40 local manufacturers had unsold stocks of over three million face masks.