End of the road? — Dejavu Apparel announces ‘temporary closure’ due to ‘economic hardships’

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In 2023, Dejavu Apparel stayed on Bulawayo fashionheads’ lips thanks to the tireless work of their founder Allen Moyo — who leveraged a huge social media following, innovative marketing strategies (Dejavu Fridays is worth a note), and strategic partnerships (remember Dejavu Hangouts?) to keep the brand alive in a difficult operating environment.

Dejavu Apparel founder Allen Moyo

This is why it came as a shock to most when Allen Moyo announced the ‘temporary closure’ of the brand in a Twitter post yesterday morning.

Despite all but throwing in the towel, the founder of Dejavu Apparel did tease a return of the beloved brand in a not so distant future.

“It is with great sadness that we announce our temporary closure. Over the years, we have been blessed enough to grow a community of people united by love, support, and an understanding of what it means to have a family outside of home. We have met some of the most amazing individuals who have shown us nothing but immense support,” reads part of the press statement.

Moyo cited the harsh economic reality the country is facing as the major reason for the hiatus.

The ambitious entrepreneur also admitted that most brands in Zimbabwe are finding it difficult, if not impossible, to fend off the immense competition posed by the double-jeopardy of cheap counterfeits of foreign brands and second hand clothes (mabhero).

The statement concludes;

“We’ve always set out to be an example of what it means to persevere no matter what life throws at you. However, once in a while, it’s important to take a break, regroup, and come back stronger.”

Dejavu’s fate seems like the dreaded destiny of most Zimbabwean brands. In as much as the ideas are revolutionary, the sad truth is fashion in Zimbabwe comes as an afterthought to a market which barely has any disposable income.

Any longevity has to be financed from out of pocket, and not from the proceeds of merchandise sales.

One might even think homegrown brands only started sprouting in the past five years, but this has been happening since the mid-2000’s — start off motivated, get a few supporters, tire after a year or so. Rinse and repeat.

This maddening spiral for our beloved creatives is what drives the work we do here at Mcheno And More.

Let these people who keep trying to do the impossible be immortalized for their bravery. One day, when this reality is a distant memory; they ought to be remembered for the sacrifices they made to lay the foundation for Zimbabwean fashion — their contribution to our nation’s history and culture.

We’ll be on the lookout for the triumphant return of Dejavu Apparel.

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