BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
UNITED KINGDOM-BASED Zimbabwean rising fashion designers-cum-founders of the FungaixRufaro fashion brand are set to showcase their designs for the first time at the prestigious Undiscovered Fashion Show in the UK this month.
The FungaixRufaro fashion brand is under the creative brains of Fungai Muzoroza (21) and Rufaro Kasukuwere (21) who are currently studying in the UK.
Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style from her London base yesterday, Muzoroza said their mutual interest in fashion gave birth to the fashion brand in June 2019.
“The desire to establish FungaixRufaro fashion brand was inspired by also seeing the lack of diversity and representation within the Zimbabwean fashion industry, especially for plus size men and women,” she said.
“We helped each other build it (FungaixRufaro fashion brand) but my mom has played a big part in helping us. As we are both currently located in the UK for university, we source our fabric either from here or Zimbabwe, but all production at the moment is in Zimbabwe.”
Muzoroza said to date they had managed to dress some top local artistes.
“We have so far designed and released two collections Tisu and Kwatirikuenda respectively. At the moment, we are in the process of designing and releasing our third collection Renje all to be showcased at the Undiscovered Fashion Show,” she said.
“We have dressed the likes of hip-hop sensation Takura Moyo who wore one of the pieces from our Kwatirikuenda collection for his No Stopping music video, so as Tamy Moyo and Tahle weDzinza who have also performed in pieces from both our Tisu and Kwatirikuenda collections.”
She said the seven-piece Renje collection paid homage to Zimbabwe.
“The Israelites wandered the wilderness for 40 years. As Zimbabwe is in its 40th year of independence, we ask for justice. We ask ourselves if this could be the beginning of the labour pains that will deliver us out of the wilderness,” she said.
“Our seven-piece collection pays homage to Zimbabwe that even in the wildness, beauty can still be found and that we as Zimbabweans can create that. We will conquer through barbarous and barren land to return to milk and honey.”
Muzoroza said the challenges they faced included the unstable Zimbabwean economy which made it difficult for them to fully operate from their home country.
“Having to operate from two different places while being in school makes it difficult to sell our clothes because we have no other help and our time is also split. Financially it can be straining because the resources are coming straight from our own pockets given that we are both on student budgets, although we both have part-time jobs to try and make a little extra money,” she said.
“In the next two years, we would like to have our online store fully running and operational, releasing more collections, having a reliable material supplier and hopefully we will have somewhat of a creative team to help us with our content,” she said.
“We hope that in about 10 years we will be fully operational with a store, hosting events and generally helping to revive and boost the fashion industry in Zimbabwe.”