When the contestants of the Pacific Designers’ Marathon were announced, most of them were expected.
Jaxx is the co-founder of ROZEBOWL Collection, and a streetwear icon.
Fungai Muzoroza is a super-creative with a self titled brand and credits on award winning films.
Rori is the propagator of surrealistic brand Rori Bisamu, and an accomplished DJ.
Nobunaga, the winner, already has a blazing hot brand called S3X SOUNDS, and is a well respected figure in the Matebeleland fashion scene.
Only one name stood out—Ray Enders.
We here at Mcheno&More are always looking out for outstanding names in the Zimbabwean fashion scene.
We must admit though, Ray Enders caught us unaware, and piqued our interest.
The only way to satisfy our curiosity, obviously, was to attend the Fabrikans Convention and bear witness.
During the first two days of the Fabrikans Convention, we did catch glimpses of the 18 year old, running around, trying to finalise everything before his big day—his introduction to the scene.
It was only until Sunday 29 October that the name came to life, with an out of this world display that exceeded the expectations of a company that was simply trying to create some cool corporate merch.
Obviously, he didn’t win the Designers Marathon, but he had already won the crowd. So much so that when it was time for his exhibition—the debut of his brand EER Fashion (pronounced ‘Ree’), and its debut collection titled BROCKEN HOUSEHOLDS; everyone was attentive.
And not just because Ray Enders was providing background live commentary on every piece that forms part of the collection.
The BROCKEN HOUSEHOLDS collection is contemporary avant-garde fashion at its finest.
Enders broke down the eighteen piece collection into seven categories, which he termed ‘rooms’.
- The Witches of Intuition
- The Breadwinners
- Rebel Child
- Open Current
- Male Repellent
- Solitary Confinement
- Misguided Trust
Enders described the ideation and conceptualisation of BROCKEN HOUSEHOLDS as;
“To start off the collection, I had to map out this foreign world in my mind and discover the faces behind these voices. As I did, I grouped them in a house, in rooms. I named these ‘rooms’ after their respective triggers or responsibilities.”
All these ‘rooms’ have a deep personal meaning to Enders. They are a distillation of his emotions, experiences, and relationships over the course of his life.
The Witches of Intuition are a voice Enders always had from a very young age. He was always somehow foretelling things before they could even happen or just knew how things would work out.
The Witches of Intuition are the voice of good in the whizzkid’s mind, advising and telling him the right decisions to make.
They are visualised as three sisters. One is a strong warrior, the other is a kind, naive girl; and the eldest is a personification of reason—poise and elegant.
The second room is The Breadwinners. It represents the inner voice that helps people make adult decisions, helping them to transition into successful breadwinners.
“But at the same time it’s a representation of my fear of becoming a breadwinner and the implications that come with it.
“The delicate side to it represented by the signature EERflower embroideries. The breadwinners are four beings but they don’t share a sibling type relationship, more of a co-worker one,” explained Enders.
Room three is Rebel Child, a constant desire to question mindless authority. The piece represents how this desire is interpreted by society as rebellion, and not what it really is— just another sense of self.
The fourth room is Open Current. Open Current is a male and female duo of siblings, and they are ever flowing and ever shifting, just like water.
Enders described how Open Current the piece was relates to Open Current the idea;
“They(siblings) help me move on at the great speeds I do, and sometimes the moving on turns to the thought or individual being almost erased.”
Room five is Male Repellent. “Male Repellent is a part of me that didn’t allow me to find a partner in fear of being hurt but they too like the Rebel Child have another meaning,” Enders described.
According to Enders, the female character of Male Repellant is in a constant race to look for someone good. This is why she prevents the male character from searching for or taking interest in anyone.
In the end, they both find solace in each other.
Sixth is Solitary Confinement, which shares an almost similar story to Male Repellent, in the sense of hiding. The only difference is that Solitary Confinement actually chooses solitude.
Last is Misguided Trust, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. She is dressed to seem harmless, but she is the passageway of deception into the mind.
BROCKEN HOUSEHOLDS is a well thought out, well put together avant-garde collection that left the audience at The Fabrikans Convention awestruck.
“The runway went splendidly. I wanted an intimate runway and that’s what I got,” reminisced Enders.
The BROCKEN HOUSEHOLDS collection is an accumulation of Enders’ emotions over the course of two years. “It has been 2 years in the making, on and off, of course,” admitted Enders.
He added, “I tend to feel paranoid and uneasy when I go through something traumatic or painful and everyone around me makes it seem as if it’s not that big of a deal.
“BROCKEN HOUSEHOLDS was a visual aid to how I felt and how I longed to feel better that coupled with fashion styles and techniques I that I had learnt over the course of my school days.”
Yes, Ray Enders had the talent, but he decided to go to school to refine his talent even further. He acquired the City and Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Fashion and Design Craft at Speciss College. And it shows.
The super-creative also does contemporary dance, music and scriptwriting. Talk about teeming with talent.
Asked about who exactly he is trying to appeal to in a widely conservative nation where most people wear clothing for the sake of covering their nether regions, Ray Enders had this to say;
“I am targeting the creatively receptive and adventurous, open-minded people that are susceptible to new ways of looking at life and fashion.”
And from those that do pay attention, the response has been overwhelming for Ray Enders. “The response has been very good and almost overwhelming because of the collection’s magnitude and power to invoke specific emotions from people,” he beamed.
He added, “I feel like the pied piper. I managed to create something with specific intent and managed to get the same emotional response from the audience.”
Ray Enders is already looking ahead, and he exclusively revealed to Mcheno & More that he is currently working on his second offering.
“Well, the brand has now been breathed life into and you can expect more emoting and tear-jerking work. I am already working on my next collection prematurely named FORBIDDEN FRUIT.”
At just eighteen, the future is blindingly bright for Ray Enders, and there is no limit to what EER can achieve for Zimbabwean fashion. You can stay up to date with the young genius on Instagram, which is also where you can view the pictures of EER Fashion‘s debut at the Fabrik Party.
Also visit his website to place your order of a collection of nothing but future grails.