After a six-year intermission, the Zimbabwe Fashion Week Trust (ZFWT) is making a triumphant return, heralding a new chapter in Zimbabwe’s fashion narrative. As the countdown to October begins, the Trust has unveiled its first-ever Advisory Board, a dynamic ensemble of six esteemed individuals, each bringing a unique blend of expertise and vision to the table.
Previously guided solely by a board of Trustees, the ZFWT has now broadened its horizons by engaging an Advisory Board. This strategic move is designed to harness the collective wisdom of these industry veterans to shape the future trajectory of ZFWT. Their shared commitment to nurturing emerging talent and their deep understanding of the creative industry align perfectly with ZFWT’s mission to spotlight and empower Zimbabwe’s vibrant fashion scene.
Priscilla Chigariro, the founder of ZFWT, is banking on the board’s wealth of experience to inject innovation and excellence into Zimbabwe’s fashion landscape. She envisions the board’s diverse expertise as a catalyst for propelling Zimbabwe Fashion Week to unprecedented heights.
The inaugural ZFWT Advisory Board for 2023/24 boasts an impressive roster: Farai Bayai Ncube, Tinashe Murapata, Elvas Mari, Charlotte Grace Philp, Dr Verity Muzenda Ncube, and Tiago Valente. Each member brings a unique set of skills and experiences that will undoubtedly contribute to the growth and success of ZFWT.
Farayi Bayai Ncube is the Regional Arts Director for Sub Saharan Africa at The British Council. She is a seasoned programme design and strategist with vast experience in the field of international development in the cultural and creative industries.
Tinashe Murapata is an economist and founder of Leon Africa, an investment holding firm with vested interests in homegrown startups. He has previous experience in the United Kingdom, where he worked in financial services and as a treasurer for a non-profit youth advocacy firm that connected rural Zimbabwean youth to business process outsourcing opportunities in the United Kingdom.
Elvas Mari is a former Director of the National Arts Council Of Zimbabwe. He is an educator and cultural advocate who has successfully implemented curriculum development at high school level nationwide, published nine books and six print media publications. He has also translated numerous handbooks and documents for local and international organisations and edited numerous novels as a Senior Editor Officer for The Literature Bureau.
Charlotte Grace Philp is a serial entrepreneur in fashion who has done everything from administration, marketing, and event coordination; from exclusive and intimate, to much larger scaled events. She has extensive experience as a stylist, for both fashion photography and wardrobe consultancy.
Dr Verity Muzenda Ncube is the Executive Dean in the School of Art and Design at Chinhoyi University Of Technology. Being the ‘strategic anchor’ at the helm of one of the leading fashion schools in Zimbabwe, she is actively at the fore-front of creating opportunities for excellence in art and design as well as clothing and textiles needed in Zimbabwe in particular and the world at large.
Tiago Valente is a Creative Director, Designer & Global Strategist, with a focus on Innovation and Sustainable Practices, geared towards Diversity, Equity and Social Justice initiatives. He also holds a professorship in Fashion Design and Social Justice at Parsons, The New School in New York. He has worked with brands like Missoni, Zara, Lane Crawford, Google and Unilever.
Valente brings a much needed global perspective to the ZWFT Advisory board. Director of ZFWT Marshall Mutsamwira believes an international board member will be able to recognize new opportunities and address challenges in a way that will allow for the evolution and growth of ZFWT and Zimbabwean fashion at large.
He explains, “The appointment of an international advisor underscores our commitment to fostering a collaborative environment where thought leaders come together to guide and support ZFWT’s endeavors. We believe having input from an international industry level will be invaluable as we navigate new opportunities, address challenges, and continue to grow and evolve.”
The introduction of the Advisory board to the Zimbabwe Fashion Week Trust is a testament to their commitment to bringing back a Zimbabwe Fashion Week that rivals international fashion shows. We have no doubt that we’ll be seeing the best of Zimbabwean fashion on display in Victoria Falls this October.
All that is left now is an announcement of the dates. To stay in the know, you can follow The Zimbabwe Fashion Week on social media: zim.fashionweek. You can also visit their website: https://www.zimbabwefashionweek.com/
As we anticipate the return of Zimbabwe Fashion Week this October, one thing is clear: under the guidance of this newly formed Advisory Board, the future of Zimbabwe’s fashion industry looks brighter than ever.