Miss Malawi’s Mable Banda opens fashion store

Mable Banda, one of Miss Malawi beauty pageant organizers, is now into fulltime business with her investment into a fashion store opened a fortnight ago in the capital Lilongwe.

Stocking designer men and women’s wear, face products and other accessories from the United States and the United Kingdom, the retail shop that is situated at City Mall, is called Vogué – House of Divas & Ballerz.

The fashion diva told Nyasa Times that her love for fashion was what gave her the urge to invest into the fashion house.

“I have always loved fashion and I want to give people the best and dress them like they have never dressed before,” said Banda as she disclosed that she had invested K5 million to start the business.

Mable Banda in her store. Photo by Kimpho Loka/Nyasa Times

Mable Banda in her store. Photo by Kimpho Loka/Nyasa Times

“The good thing is that Malawians are now paying attention when it comes to fashion. They are conscious about dressing and looks,” she added. “The response has been overwhelming from the day I opened my shop.”

Banda joins other Malawian women who are doing well running similar businesses, among them Chifundo Malunga of Dazzle, Sipho Mtawali of KB Fashions and Tamara Mlusu who owns House of Lydia.

She said she was happy to be among the local businesspersons who are “now taking over” the running of fashion stores, which have for so long been run by foreigners or Malawians of other origins.

“It’s very encouraging to see that Malawians are now running these businesses, especially women, which is not only good for the economy but social development and women empowerment,” she said.

At a time when Malawians are also investing in fashion designing, Banda said she has plans to start stocking locally made clothing, saying local designers are now producing good quality material that can even sell on the international market.

“We now have the Malawi Fashion Week and it is through such platforms that as suppliers of clothes and other fashion merchandise we will be able to select designers we can work with.

“It’s time we joined hands and empowered each other, that’s the only way we can move forward,” she said .

A mother of two boys, Banda also said the business was made possible with the help of her fiancé Sanderson Khonje, who she described as very encouraging, understanding and supportive man. Said she: “It’s not easy to balance work and family, but my family is very understanding and supportive.”

During the Malawi Fashion Week Cocktail Party held last Friday at KIA Motors Showroom in Lilongwe, Vogué – House of Divas & Ballerz dressed some of the models present during the night.

According to Banda, she is also expected to buy a booth at the forthcoming Fashion Week to be held from May 30 to June 3 at the Presidents Hotel in the capital, where she will be showcasing and selling her merchandise.

She advises her fellow women to put God first in everything they do, saying, “With God by your side, it is easy to realize your dreams.”

Mable Banda infront of her store. Photo by Kimpho Loka/Nyasa Times

Mable Banda infront of her store. Photo by Kimpho Loka/Nyasa Times

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