BY KIMBERLY KARIATI
FASHION designer Vimbai Isabelle Dzivakwi says her brand Qings and Swank is an art of expression and a way of communicating confidence.
Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style, Dzivakwi said her brand was born out of life experiences.
“The vision started in 2019 when I was bed-ridden after a knee surgery. I can say it was a blessing in disguise because I had time to reflect on many things. So I started looking for designs, drawing up the theory side of the business,” she said.
“I shared the idea with many people such as Alwyn Mungofa, who now work as creative designer for Qings (the ladies brand), believed in it,” Dzivakwi said, adding that it was not an easy journey.
“We started designing, trying out ideas. Seeing these designs on paper, looking so brilliant helped me to get back on my feet and push the brand. As I recovered, I started sourcing for fabrics and tailors. I also started the process to formally register the company,” she said.
“Since then, it has been sleepless nights, trying new things and learning.”
Dzivakwi said the reception had been overwhelming.
“The main challenge I face is resources, especially financial. I used my savings to grow brand, I had to do more to get the brand out there. I had to take certain sacrifices and losses so that at least I can penetrate the market with quality yet affordable product,” she said.
“So I have to make the brand unique which means I had to include certain packaging to meet international standards. So trying to do all this yet being profitable can be difficult.”
Dzivakwi said she intended to make her brand popular.
“The Zimbabwean fashion industry is growing as people are coming out of their shells — they are now bold and trying new things. We see so many interesting and unique designs and it is interesting to be part of it,” she said.
“People are now proud of wearing local brands. Yes, international brands are still dominating the local scene, but I can say locals are coming up there. My vision is to continue creating and coming up with new unique designs until Qings and Swank becomes a household name.”
She said having songstress Anita Jackson endorse her designs to be featured on Zimbabwe models on their Wear Local series is humbling.
- Follow Kimberly on Twitter @lizellekimkari