Zanu PF has been rocked by nasty intra-party factional wars leading to fears of an imminent implosion and dragging the 92-year-old strongman President Robert Mugabe’s name in the mud, but this has not discouraged fashion designer James Pande from venturing into the South African market to sell Africa’s oldest leader’s brand.
BY ARTS REPORTER
Pande told NewsDay that his fashion label was not a hard-sell, insisting that the Mugabe brand was not yet past its sell-by date.
He said he has also launched another range of trendy products under the RGM 92 label featuring Mugabe’s initials and age, a tribute to the nonagerian president’s birthday celebrations set for next week.
Pande is the brains behind the Hovhorosi Style, a Zimbabwean clothing label popular especially among Zanu PF supporters, for its workman-style overalls punctuated with Mugabe’s signature.
The designer, who is now based in South Africa, claimed that even white South Africans had shown interest in his designer labels.
“The response to my products has been encouraging. A lot of South Africans, even whites who have seen me wearing the brand, have expressed interest prompting me to target the market here,” he said.
“If you look back at America’s history you will find that President Abraham Lincoln was outfitted by the Brooks Brothers in the mid-nineteenth century,” Pande quipped. “So, why not President Robert Mugabe?”
The Brooks Brothers are known for introducing the ready-to-wear suit for American customers.