Thu. Nov 21st, 2019

A ray of Hope: glimmering light over Rwanda’s Fashion Industry

Marie Clemence Cyiza

It was once regarded as a profitless industry— the one where people would go for fun and show off and seen by people who would join the industry whom society thinks have gone off the norms, the spoilt ones.

 But the industry through thick and thin have come of age, from lady socialites who would join to have a platform to do their ‘work’, to organizers who would only crave for celebrity status quo, and now to young women thinking to build their dreams to organizers, fashion designers who make every effort to invest and reap profits in a society that has embraced fashion.

Nowadays, things seem different. Some claimed that you wouldn’t need an extra job to live in the modelling industry.

“It’s a little hard for start-ups and newcomers to brand in but some famous models and fashion agents gain big wages and incomes,” said Eric Muvunyi Marketing Manager at Uno Fashion Agency.

“Modeling industry might not have many local opportunities but when there are none, we create them. For example, we at Uno Fashion, when we don’t have jobs we create them through Fashion shows. That’s how we work and be able to give jobs to our models,” he said.

But the growth of the industry is also linked to the Made in Rwanda campaign, a government initiative of promoting local industries and encouraging people to consume locally produced goods.

As a result, Clementine, Mujawamariya, a tailor says  made people  like clothing made locally which  made more  designers to spring up to promote the designs.

“This made some us models be proud of what we do. Maybe you would ask if they weren’t before. Of course, some of them were but others were like having a big burden of proof that this industry might go far; that this industry is not for “Slay Queens,” said Aisha Uwase, 19, one of new models.

Uwase started creating designs at the age of 7 and she believes that the industry has now changed and become more competitive and more respect is accorded unlike in the past years.

She said  “I don’t earn much but at least I don’t have to ask my parents for everything. Those who are in this industry have to fight for it to develop. They are the ones who might change the way things are by helping each other”.

“But” he said; “the Fashion Industry needs many sponsors, partners and investors to be able to operate well.”

 Experts in the industry  believe  that  if  young  people with a passion for the  industry  out much  efforts to increase the momentum  of the industry, growth would be guaranteed.

The industry’s big names have currently increased and some of these include; Kate Bashabe, Jay Rwanda, Moses (Moshion), Dady de Maximo and there is optimism that as the industry continues to be profitable more people will be joining.

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