Swahili Fashion Week, now in its fourth year has been cited to be “East And Central Africa’s annual largest and biggest fashion platform, now geared towards being the most sought out after and preferred platform in Africa for the international market.” This year is proving it to be the biggest for sure. They have a HUGE amount of things in store for visitors and for those showcasing. WOW this is one not to be missed! Workshops, Shopping, Fashion shows, Competitions and so much more! Its non ending this year as they celebrate 50 years of Independence for Tanzania.
Swahili Fashion Week was founded in 2008 and created by celebrated Tanzanian couturier, Mustafa Hassanali. It has grown to be fast growing platform for fashion and accessory designers from Swahili speaking countries and the African continent to showcase their talent, market their creativity and network with clientele and the international fashion industry. This is all aimed at emphasizing to the region that fashion is an income generating creative industry, meanwhile promoting a “Made in Africa” concept.
Firstly before the main event even happens and as they prepare towards the 2011 edition from 10-12th November at the National Museum in Dar es Salaam, Swahili Fashion Week will make its DEBUT showcase in Arusha, the headquarters of the EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY, on 8 October at The Mount Meru Hotel. This is aimed at taking the work of designers regionally and sensitize Fashion as Business to the EAST AFRICAN community.
When it launched in 2008 it was a 2 evening events featuring 12 Tanzanian Designers and 2 Guest designers. This 2011 edition happens over 3 full day and evening events, featuring now 50 Designers in total to showcase their collection to mark 50 years of Tanzanian independence together alongside exhibitors exhibited in yet a bigger and better Fashion Week Shopping Festival.
The Swahili Fashion Week Shopping Festival will capture the spirit, style and essence of the Swahili coast by showcasing not only traditional Swahili arts and culture but offers stalls to all participating fashion designers to exhibit and sell their unique, often hand-made clothing, accessories and products. Stall priority to those not on the runway will be given to artists, crafts-people, etc… who are disabled or underprivileged. And the theme for this Shopping Festival this year can only be in celebration the creative entrepreneurship of Tanzania and its 50 years of Independence by being called “Made in Tanzania”.
Swahili Fashion Week aims to:
- Promote Eastern African fashion brands
- Improve the quality and output of fashion design from East Africa
- Provide a platform for up and coming young designers in the region
- Create opportunities for East African products in African Diaspora markets
Swahili Fashion Week endeavors to continue to create links between its self and other Fashion Events across the continent, so as to give further fashion opportunities to local designers.
- Mozambique and Swahili Fashion Week Exchange Programme is currently in its 3rd year
- Exchange Programme between FAFA (Festival of African Fashion & Arts) in Kenya is in its 2nd year
What we have alot of respect for Swahili Fashion Week is in the area of job creation. The create employment for over 300 person and more during the period of the Fashion Week. Security, cleaners, caterers, waiters, production people, light technicians, sound technicians, set creators, décor artistes, models, designers, hairstylists, make-up artistes, dressers, ushers, volunteers, drivers.
The coveted title of Swahili Fashion Week Emerging Designer Award 2011 is in its fourth year and the award ceremony will be held on 12 November 2011 at 22.00pm at National Museum of Tanzania with the Theme: Uhuru
Showcasing at the Swahili Fashion Week main event will be collections from 50 Designers also celebrating 50 years of UHURU and includes established designers from Tanzania, East Africa, throughout African and international designers too.
Lastly, Swahili Fashion Week 2011 for the first time will feature a T-shirt Graphic Design Competition aimed at empowering the creative talent amongst the youth, within the creative fashion industry, aimed at conveying message to the mass on the theme “Uhuru”.