Fashion designing is one of Malawi’s fastest growing industries amongst the youths.
However, high prices of locally produced products have been an impediment to the industry’s growth.
Speaking in separate interviews, three of Malawi’s top fashion designers attributed the challenge to unavailability of high quality fabrics in the country.
“The challenge of working within Malawi as a Designer is the availability of fabrics, machinery and textiles. Because of these three points you’re potential as a designer is limited when it comes to creativity. Personally I try my best to source items like materials within Malawi,” said Beatrice Mabvuto, founder of Scorpii Clothing.
Scorpii Clothing has showcased at London Fashion Week in 2015, African Fashion Festival 2017, Mzuzu Fashion Week 2018, African Fashion Festival 2018 and African Fashion Festival 2019 in Malawi.
Concurring with Beatrice, Pascal Kamanga of Kwacha Creatives said, “The challenge has always been the fabrics we use. Most of them are expensive because we buy from outside the country.”
In her remarks, Xandria of Xandria Fashions said, “Some of the challenges are sourcing most of the fashion materials from outside of Malawi which is very expensive due to lack of enough fashion resources in the country.”
Xandria further bemoaned lack of funding to participate in international fashion shows where the brand qualifies to showcase.
“I qualify but I don’t have enough funds to attend the shows. Like last year I got invited to showcase at Mercedes Benz fashion week Accra and Africa Fashion week London but because I didn’t have any funding I failed to go and showcase,” Xandria said.
Xandria has dressed musicians and TV celebrities namely Kwesta Dakar (SA), Yolanda Vilakazi (SA), Busisiwe (SA), Dana Cody (USA), Demar(Colombia), Jeffrey Jewell (France) and other Fashion Houses like Mercedes Benz fashion week Accra.