Two youthful fashion wear designers dream to leave a mark in the fashion industry, which over the years has not been very active.
The two Wiseman Giyane and Prince Pirikisi whose product, Afrotouch Wear, is new on the market, believe their unique clothing design will carve a niche in an industry which of late had lost flare in the country owing to a decimated economy and designer exodus.
The 24-year-old Giyane said they started making designs last year in June and their Afrotouch concept was an epitome of Afrocentricism, identifying with Africa. Their Afrotouch Wear design carries a dotzw trademark.
We decided to make designs that touched Zimbabweans and largely all Africans. Its the identity in clothing design that is striking, said Giyane adding: We are trying to put patriotic gear into the market.
The pair has put the Afrotouch design on round neck, V-neck and golf T-shirts, as well as on vests and slim fits and these come in different sizes. The colours are white, red, green, black and yellow a complete touch of African colours. Current products of the Afrotouch design are either puff-printed (raised print) or embossed.
Pirikisi, who is aged 23, echoed: Last year we sold about 50 T-shirts. We sold the Tribes Wear design which was for ladies, as we were introducing the product into the market.
He added this year they were trying to concentrate on the market of Zimbabweans abroad.
So far we have sold 25 promotional T-shirts in South Africa to see if the market appreciates the latest design. They were well-received and we are going back with 100.
Pirikisi said there was less competition.
Those producing a design close to ours are in the United Kingdom. So we dont have a threat at the moment. Even our price range of between $10 and $20 is very much affordable and a scarecrow to competitors.
Giyane added they would introduce embroidered hoodie jackets this winter.
We want to introduce the design on hoodie jackets for the winter season, although it would be embroidered. Very soon, we should have boots as well that carry a dotzw trademark, said the pint-sized rookie designer, whose product is expected to take the market by storm.
We will also introduce clothing which carries street lingo like zvirisei, wastak or chipande. People like putting on what has messages they say every day. That will be before the embroidered Afrotouch clothing makes its way into the market.
A Facebook page, Afrotouch Wear, has been created where a wide range of the designs can be viewed.
Besides label designs, the pair also runs Afrostitch, a company that is into signage and advertising concepts, as well as BrandsABC which does promotional products and printing.