CLASSICIST designer, Lloyd Klein is a god of fashion, whose creations dominate red carpets, modelling ramps and wardrobes in Paris, Los Angeles and New York.
BY PRECIOUS CHIDA
Thousands of kilometres away in Harare lives his namesake, Lloyd Savanhu. Even if his dreams may not reach Lloyd Klein’s stature, he feels he is ready for a big take-off despite the hurdles strewn in his way.
As the local fashion takes shape, with more talented designers emerging to fight for honours, Savanhu’s prayer is that having walked this journey over the last 10 years, his investments are set to pay off.
To his credit, he has dressed a number of local celebs including Tendai Madzviti, popularly known as Tendex, Afro-Jazz musician, Pah Chihera, Gary Tight and the Sesifikile dance outfit.
The designer, who has had a passion for fashion since childhood, ventured into the business in 2007, where he started off with making jeans for a living before migrating to African print and formal wear.
Savanhu told that it has been a gruesome journey for him to reach where he is now.
“I do not come from a well-off family, so it wasn’t easy to achieve my dream. I started from nothing and I had to work hard in order to raise money for my school fees. At that time I was still learning fashion designing,” Savanhu said.
The father of two said his customers are the marketers of his brand.
“When I do something, I make sure that it looks amazing such that my customers continue coming back and they end up marketing my products,” Savanhu said.
“I have been to lot of places around Zimbabwe where people that I didn’t even know would call me for orders.”
Inspired by his father and the Ghanaian tailor-cum-actor and Pokello’s husband, Elikem, Savanhu also designs for schools, churches and weddings.
He operates from Mufakose, a place he chose because he wanted to cut costs.
“Most of my clients are individuals and with the current state Zimbabwe is in, clients are losing jobs, which are also affecting my business, but I am glad that new people come every day making my business stay firm and strong,” he said.
Savanhu said he plans on opening shops in town that sell African cloth and were he will also be operating from in future.