Contents Letter from the Editor Contributiors & Features The Cultured Modern Gentleman A moment with Rudo Nondo Autumn-Winter Makeup Trends The Zim Stylist Life Zim Fashion Week 2015 by .R. Interview with Lynzi Judish The Zimbabwean Fashion Industry Cover Editorial & Interview Les Portraits Collection
Letter from the Editor Sasha Jokomo To call this a dream come true would mask all the hard work, time and effort my team and I have put forward. I have finally launched my own place to voice the needs and wants of the more tuned in generation. The climb has been steep but not unconquerable. Coquettes aims to show that both men and women can have their playful and flirtatious sides shown via fashion. A safe haven for creative people who want to experiment and step up their fashion game. Tied in with Zimbabwean culture whilst partaking in the international fashion dialogues, Coquettes is taking steps to celebrate high fashion in Africa and showing the world that we have different genres of what is fashionable and trendy to US. For the first issue I wanted to introduce the you (our readers) to a simple and minimalistic side of fashion. The editorials are edgy and completely different to what has been on the African fashion scene. Especially when we take into consideration that we are the first African mag to have a self-portrait cover! I hope you enjoy reading it.
Contributors & Featured Artists Nyasha Mavu stylesquadzim.wordpress.com Ranga Rwodzi limeandcotton.blogspot.co.uk Rudo Nondo Rutendo Denise .R. Amanda Bootes Katie Harrington Marshall Mutsamwira Haru Majengwa T Mae Tina Dandajena Lynzi Judish Chelsea Evans & Melissa Abramsen
The Cultured Modern Gentleman Photography by Sasha Jokomo
Getting to know: Rudo Nondo Creative Director of Anaia
CQS: What was that bright moment RN: Breaking new ground and that made you decide that you want- staying true to yourself ed to be a fashion designer? CQS: would you ever consider RN: The very first time I watched being a designer under a fashion breakfast at Tiffany's I knew I had label? to be in the fashion industry. I had an obesession with Audrey Hepburn RN: Yes I would definately growing up and I just loved her style. The aha moment came to me CQS: Would you ever collabotwo years ago when I realised I had rate on a fashion collection with what it took to be a fashion designer. another fashion designer? CQS: Which designers do you respect and draw inspiration from?
RN: Yes I most definitely would CQS: What was behind the name Anaia? Why did you pick it?
RN: I draw inspiration from the house of Chanel I love how their clothes are simple yet elegant and how one piece speaks a 1000 words RN: I fell in love with the name without really saying anything at all anaia when I first heard it Hebrew and it means God answers CQS: How would you describe your design aesthetic? CQS: What has been the greatest moment in your journey of RN: I am a practical designer and being a fashion designer? I believe clothes should be multi functional and long lasting. My de- RN: I recently did a collabosign aesthetic is simplistic yet modern ration with clubsolitaire.com at their launch in Zimbabwe. That CQS: What is the biggest challenge has been my greatest moment of being a fashion designer in Zim- thus far babwe?
CQS: -Did you formally train as a designer or did it come naturally? RN: Design has come naturally to me CQS: What do you think of your work? RN: I constantly challenge myself and I want to constantly produce excellent work and an excellent fashion experience CQS: What would you like to be remembered for? RN: Making a positive difference on the global fashion industry and empowering communities. Stay true to yourselves!!!
CQS: Where does Anaia fit in, in the Zimbabwe fashion industry? RN: At the moment ANAIA falls into the industry as an emerging brand. CQS: What has been the biggest learning curve? RN: I have had to learn to be patient with myself and my staff and also start to accept that it's ok to make mistakes so long as they're not repeated
"I want to constanty challenge myself and
produce an excellent fashion experience" CQS: Any mistakes or regrets? Or something you wish you shouldn't have done or could've done better? RN: I have made so many mistakes in my design and business and journey. I have learnt not to mix business and friendship and I have learnt to always believe in myself. CQS: Is there anything you would change about the fashion industry in Zimbabwe? RN: I would like to see more collaborations and working with local artisans and craftsmen CQS: What is your position on ethical fashion? What materials (fur, alligator skin etc) are out of limits and wouldn't be used in the Anaia brand. If any. RN: I am a strong believer in ethical fashion and I believe that fashion should be sustainable economically as well as on the environment. I prefer to use natural fibers such as cottons and linens and I would not use animal fur on any anaia products.
Fall 2015 makeup trends As much as we are used to seeing bold looks on the run way for fall. Fall 2015 brings us surprises this year. The runway saw the rebirth of bronze eyes and 90s lips. The bronze eye shadow is definitely bolder than the usual gold and silver and works well for fall when paired with graphic black liner. In addition, shades of mandarin and apricot also made their runway debut for Fall 2015.These shades compliment all skin types/tones and can be worn for both day and night. Electric blue eye shadow as well as burgundy eye shadow is a trend and must have for this fall particularly for on an evening out. Last year we saw the gold and brown transition take fall by storm this was paired with dark lips - this trend sure lived the fall 2014. Although dark bold lips are still trending this fall especially shades of Bordeaux, plum and cherry matte lipsticks. The run way also paved way for warmer shades of lipsticks in cinnamon , mauve and warm shades of coral. The Mac x Giambattista Valli range is due to make a fall come back this will range will be perfect for fall shades as it carries Bordeaux and warm shades of coral, Mac announced the future release of this range later in the fall. For the cheeks a flushed look is trending for fall this includes warm shades of pink and rose paired with a hint of gold bronzer which creates a soft flushed look. Etam, the new makeup line, is just on time for this flushed trend with its shades of warm rose blush. If you are on a budget, sleek blush in shade French rose will achieve this trend for you. Oh and lest we forget the new Chubby stick blush pencil from clinic will also deliver this trend in one sweep to your cheek bones. Graphic eyes wing outs created with mascara and eyeliner are also on trend this fall. Finally, The new Smokey eye!! this is more subtle and softer it's less defined and contains hints of mandarin and grey and brown perfect for both day and night one to wear on a Friday evening from the office to the bar!
The Zim Stylist Life by Nyasha Mavu I grew up in a Zimbabwean household with a strong emphasis on the importance of education. Like numerous other Zimbabwean children, I worked really hard in school at the expense of any other non-academic interests. I remember being a very active and artistic child, I loved to express myself with song, dance and drama. I was so full of life, with hopes of pursuing a music and acting career. My family tried to be supportive but as I grew older the conservation shifted and the verdict was in, I had to focus on school and rethink my career path. So I did just that, completely changed courses and I managed to obtain two degrees ( a bachelors and honors degree). So with my new dream I left university determined to conquer the world, but I was stopped dead in my tracks by the cruel and ruthless Zimbabwean economic climate. Finding any job was a nightmare and almost close to impossible. Daily, I had people in my ear with solutions and formulas of employment and some people (family members included) went as far as to suggest my degrees were a terrible mistake that I should somehow ‘fix’. I was drowning in a sea of depression and I felt like my family kept unintentionally pushing my head down. Options were running out fast and no one could help me. I watched helplessly as another dream came crushing down. In my moment of deep despair, the unbelievable happened, I saw a glimmer of light and hope in the dreams I had long since forsaken. In the midst of all my darkness and tears I often found snippets of happiness when I was exploring fashion trends, patterns and news. I played around with the idea of becoming a fashion stylist in my head for a few months, weighing up the pros and cons. I eventually took the leap and finally admitted to myself and those around me that I REALLY WANTED TO BE A FASHION STYLIST. Just like that my journey began and a new dream was born! SO WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A STYLIST? PASSION “Passion is contagious. Find your passion. Live it, share it, exude it. Then watch it inspire passion in others.” Jamie Vandergift. One thing I have learnt on my journey as a stylist is passion is everything! When you are passionate no one/nothing can get in your way.
Since I started working as a stylist, I have encountered people that have been rude, condescending, disrespectful, you name it, but you know what? They have only motivated me to continue doing better and given me ‘hulk like’ strength to work hard for my stylist goals. To make it in any field or profession, one must have drive and passion to follow through on their hopes and dreams. I won’t lie, being a stylist gets tough and overwhelming a lot of times especially in the Zimbabwean environment but my passion and love for fashion has kept me afloat. Struggles come and go but passion is forever. Passion has been the foundation of my stylist career, every move I have made up to this point has been driven by the love and passion I have for fashion, sharing the little that I know and the willingness to learn.
As a stylist, I’m learning that it’s important to have a hunger to learn more about fashion and the different facets within the industry. An open mind to explore new fashion. The fashion you love, the fashion you hate and fashion you don’t understand to give your clients with the best advice. An open mind has completely changed how I work with my own style and how I help others with theirs.
Do not be afraid to reach out to whoever will help you accomplish your stylist goals!
Style “Self confidence is the best outfit, rock it and own it.” So what do you wear as a stylist? Simple!! Whatever you want to wear!! Confidence is definitely contagious and as a stylist its your best asset. There is no set formula for CONNECTIONS “Succeeding in business is all about what to wear as a stylist. What I love about fashion is making connections.” Richard that there are no limits, only Branson the ones we set for ourselves and as a stylist I feel its imWhen I initially started out as a portant to know that. In the stylist, the importance of building relationships was lost on me. I world we live in, pop culture, latest fashion trends dictate wanted to do it all on my own!
I was a strong, independent wom fashion do’s and don’ts and we an after all, nothing could hold me feel obliged to conform. One back! of the most important lessons “Above all, remember that the most imI have learnt as a stylist is that portant thing you can take anywhere is following fashion trends is not a Gucci bag or French-cut jeans; its an The realisation that I am not superwoman and I will never be, important but you have to find open mind.” Gail Rubin Bereny slapped me in the face like a tone and create your own voice and As a stylist the best characteristic you can of bricks, I need help, more so as style. It is not enough to just duplicate trends, you have to be possess is an open mind. The willingness a stylist. Its important to build relationships with like-minded willing to be creative, to have to learn from others, to leave your compeople in the fashion industry. I fun with it and encourage and fort zone and brave unknown fashion am learning that styling is a team teach your clients to do the terrain, to stay alert and keep your ear to the ground for latest trends and lastly the sport, there is strength and prog- same. ress in numbers. Connections with Your style is a reflection of who ability to translate all this information to other stylists, designers, fashion you are, its as simple as that! clients without drowning out their style bloggers and clothing houses are Dress to express always. voice. I had to quickly learn that styling isn’t all about me or what I like or think, its vital and provide amazing oppor- Being a stylist is what you all about hearing what my clients want to tunities to observe, learn and build make it! We all have different a personal brand and reputation. stories and experiences to tell. transmit to the world. Live your story and always I am just a vessel, my opinions and ideas Honestly, you have to be willing remember, success or failure is can easily get shut down, the trick is to to put in the work, make the time, really all up to you. Your career realise that, it’s okay and it happens to the best of us. An open mindset allows you to advertise your brand, have collab- as a stylist is what you make look beyond yourself and your immediate orations with like minded people it. For me, the most important and identify key people in the is not to let your personality environment and see different points of industry to learn from. and style get lost in translation. views. AN OPEN MIND
The ToweRing Goddess at Zimbabwe Fashion Week RuTendo DeNise aka .R. made national history at Zimbabwe Fashion Week 2014 by becoming the first plus sized model to grace a fashion week runway. The former Head of Public Relations for Zimbabwe Fashion Week and Spoken Word Artist received rousing applause from attendees when she closed the collection for Durban based TZM Fashion House by Thembani Mubochwa. In addition to this, she was also asked to open the collection for the esteemed Tanzanian designer Mustafa Hassanali. Following her runway debut at ZFW, Rutendo went on to model at Zambia Fashion Week and Swahili Fashion Week respectively. We caught up with The ToweRing Goddess to hear about her experience returning to the runway at the recently ended Zimbabwe Fashion Week 2015 both as a model and MC. Hereâ€™s her story!
Shucks! Where do I even begin? Actually, before I get into the thick of things, two things. 1. Thank you, Coquettes Magazine for giving me this opportunity to share my story with your readers and 2. Thank you to everyone reading this right now. Taking time out to learn more about being a plus sized model in the small but significant nation of Zimbabwe is something I hope you find enough value in to pass on the story and the simple but important message… That is of young, unapologetic Zimbabweans making it work, where they are, with what they have! This is how my story goes…. For the sake of those who are encountering The ToweRing Goddess for the very first time, allow me to take you back about twelve years ago. I was a tall, rebel tom boy (To be fair and honest, 45% of the time I still am this person on some days!) annoyed by the fact that I had to make sure my school shirt was neatly tucked in, wear a skirt and just be a “proper, young lady”. When I transitioned into sixth form, I was #ThatOneChick who almost never wore court shoes or heels because I always had an excuse. To be honest, I was far too insecure about having to spend more than 40 seconds in anything with an elevated heel. Funny enough though, during that phase I promised myself that one day I was going to bloom into this bad ass model, rock heels and shut down runways my size, my way and I did just that. Words cannot describe how I felt when I
debuted in the TZM Fashion House Collection by Thembani Mubochwa IN 2014. I can’t find the exact words to describe how I felt but let’s just say I felt things. Fast forward to Zimbabwe Fashion Week 2015, where I closed for LiZA Couture and had the honour of co – hosting the Zimbabwe Fashion Awards 2015, I was definitely a lot more nervous than I was the year before. I had beeeen making so much noise about my return to the ZFW Runway but in reality I was shit scared and I put so much pressure on myself. Naturally, I wanted to be better than I was last year, both from how I looked and how I graced the runway. I had two problems though. 1. What to do to my hair and 2. What shoes/ heels to wear (*side note* I’m a pretty lazy shopper so I literally only had the same heels from last year to use this year…). Anyway, I came across a South African bloggers’ page on Instagram and she had this really dope looking hair cut that I decided to try out and so I had my hair sorted out. Now, the shoes were my biggest struggle… Well, that was before SHOKO Bespoke Accessories came to my rescue by making me customized heels. I have a weak right ankle so I urgently needed something to support my ankle yet still look classy elegant. SHOKO Bespoke came through for me with a gorgeous customized Tunga sandal. I was scheduled to close three collections
this year: LiZA, TZM Fashion House and Urban Zulu. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, TZM Fashion House and Urban Zulu did not manage to showcase at ZFW. Phew less pressure because I only had one show to close, but also womp womp because I was really excited to have three design experiences LiZA Couture by Kuda Chigariro opened the shows on the Saturday with us walking to intriguing performance and sound of South African Singer Yves. ToweRing with Tuku As a bonus treat, I was asked to fill in for Ndaka Chigariro as co – host for the Zimbabwe Fashion Awards as she had a terrible flu and lost her voice the morning of the awards. Looking back, and I know this is probably not the nicest thing to say, but I’m so glad she lost her voice and asked me to take her place! I mean seriously, Zimbabwean mega – star and legend Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi launched his retrospective collection at the awards ceremony. Who would not want to be a part of both his legacy and Zimbabwean fashion history in that way? I still pinch myself every time I look back at images from that night! I hugged him, low key sang Neria with him, strolled the whole ramp with him, hand in hand even! I mean!
Seriously though, I was the luckiest person in that venue that night hands down! Tuku’s collection was a reflection of both his musical journey and sense of style from 1978 to present. What a treat for everyone in attendance to being the first in the world to experience Tuku, his story, legacy and memory in such an intimate way. Next month I head back to Lusaka for Zambia Fashion Week and this time I will be walking for one of Zambia’s most celebrated designers. More on that another time though… Lately, I have been receiving emails and messages from men and women in and out of Zimbabwe asking how they too can become plus size models. To be honest, I have no real formula but what I must say is this. 1. Honour the body and skin you’re in. Take care of yourself, prioritise your health, exercise regularly and drink tonnes of water. 2. Start where you are, who you are with what you have. With the rise of social media, there are many ways you can make yourself stand out and get noticed. Usehashtags, mentions, be creative….You have it in you. And last but not least 3. SLAY SLAY SLAY! About SHOKO Bespoke founded Shoko Bespoke specializes in handmade leather accessories with a main focus on sandals and shoes. The first range, the Mukwasi Collection was inspired by the new generation of Mukwasi children after whom all the various styles are named. Shoko is “monkey” in Shona and represents our tribe, heritage and people.
It symbolizes strength and our ability to adapt and change no matter the circumstances. Our most popular style is the Tunga Sandal which we recently customized into a medium height heel for the ToweRing Goddess â€“ Priscilla Chigariro â€“ Gessen, Founder SHOKO Bespoke Accessories. About LiZA Couture Liza couture debuted at Zimbabwe Fashion Week which occurred in August 2013. Liza couture was founded in February 2013 by
Kudakwashe Chigariro, and has now managed to break into the South African fashion industry. Liza reflects a vision to create a lifestyle that accommodates Bridal, Evening Gowns and ready to wear casual clothing. It continues to grow from strength to strength with the unwavering support from its clientele. Liza Couture also operates as a CMT.
Rutendo Denise has become one of the most recognised models from Zimbabwe and as a result has made herself an ambassador pioneering for the improvement and growth of the Zimbabwean Fashion industry. Femme Coquette!
Coquettes Interviews: Lynzi Judish Like the thousands of Jute magazine fans all over the world, we have been long time fans of Editor in Chief Lynzi Judish and her work. So when we got the chance to interview her we couldn’t pass up this fortuitous moment. Find out what happened when our Editor at Large got to know her. SJ: How has the process of creating Jute been? LJ: It’s been a long process. The decision to start the magazine initially was quick, but it’s taken a long time to build our content to the quality it is at now. Very rewarding though. SJ: When did you first realize that you wanted to be a magazine editor? Why fashion? When I started the magazine I never necessarily thought about being a magazine editor, even though that was basically what I was doing. My role slowly grew into that as my partner did less and less, and one day when she left the magazine all together I suddenly had a ton of work to do by myself. It was really scary at first, but then I realized I really loved it. So, I would say that was about 6 months after the magazine started. And fashion because that’s the industry I knew I wanted to be in otherwise. I work as a fashion photographer and the fashion industry has really been the only natural fit as far as careers go my entire life. 3. Where does Jute fit in the fashion industry? Somewhere in the middle. I wouldn’t say it’s a starter magazine, but it’s a place
-where really talented photographers can submit their work and know they’ll be gracing the pages alongside other quality photographers. Aside from that I struggle with that question myself. Our motto is a bit different from any fashion magazine that is a household name. A lot of those magazines are nothing but high end apparel, and others are about independent designers, which consequently are also high end apparel. Jute is about fashion at all levels. I don’t care if the model is wearing Gucci or Charlotte Russe, or wearing them together, as long as she looks good. I’m not sure where that type of magazine fits yet. SJ: I find that to be truly admirable. In that sense I believe we think the same way. Who inspires you in the fashion industry at the moment? LJ: Always Elizaveta Porodina because her work is always so creative and vibrant. Her work is always so clean too. I struggle to ever find a single thing wrong with her work. She’s just the epitome of a solid photographer. Also, Elisabeth Toll because I love the storytelling in her work and how her pictures take you to another world. There was a series she did for Grazia Germany that I still dream about with cave waterfalls and abandoned boats. Trust me, just look it up.
SJ:What would you say has been the most challenging moment on your journey with Jute so far? LJ: How time consuming it is. Jute takes up a huge chunk of my day everyday. It’s basically like I’m working a second full time job, but I’m not being paid. Hopefully that will change someday, but it’s going to be a while. SJ: What do you look for when selecting editorial submissions for your magazine? LJ: First and foremost the basics: the clothes look good, the hair and makeup is good, the model is engaging the audience, the photography is good and interesting, and the retouching is on point and not overdone. More than anything I’m looking for work that excites me and has some storytelling. The worst kind of submissions I get are series that look like a lookbook. SJ: How do you decide on the theme or concept for each issue? LJ: I always pick something that’s in season and current, and try to pick something we haven’t done before, although that’s getting harder and harder. At some point I think I will do away with themes all together.
8. What has been the biggest learning curve? InDesign! I had real trouble keeping a graphic designer around to design our issues, not to mention the designers we did have were consistently late or unreliable. I understood it because it wasn’t a paid job, but it was so frustrating. When the last designer left last year, I finally decided to figure out how to do it on my own. The first issue was so challenging, but after that it was a cake walk
LJ: I’m moving to Prague SJ: Thank you so much, next year, which is when I’ve come to learn a I hope to set some wheels few things about myself in motion. I’ve been bid- throughout this process. ing my time in Denver a What advice would you bit. I didn’t want to start give to people who want distributing in print here to enter the fashion inwhen I knew I was moving,dustry? so once I move there that’s when I hope to start mov- LJ: It’s challenging. ing in that direction, espe- You’ll never stop learncially given we have more ing and for a good porreaders in Europe. I’m not tion of your career you’ll quite sure how that hap- probably struggle. Howpened, but it did. So, in ever, it’s so rewarding five years I hope Jute will and an artistic field to be
nd I was so mad at myself for not letting the other designers go ages ago and just doing it myself. One a side note, for the past year I have had a graphic designer Matthew Vita doing our webitorials and he is both amazingly talented and one of the easiest people to work with. I thank my lucky stars everyday that I have him around.
be sold in most countries in. I’ve never had more in Europe, at least in a few fun working, nor strugbookstores. gled more to advance my
SJ: That’s so exciting! As a novice editor, what advice SJ: When did you first would you give me? pick up a camera and deLJ:Don’t underestimate the cide that you wanted to time it takes to properly run be a photographer? a magazine. Expect this to LJ:That’s kind of a hard be a serious passion project and consume a portion of question. My father your days. Also, always be is a photographer. He aware of the level of con- photographs landscape SJ: Right? Me too, hopefully tent you’re putting out. If and wild life. I grew up it’ll get easier. What are your the magazine doesn’t slowly taking pictures here and plans for Jute in the next 5 get better each issue, you’re there, but I didn’t realize years? I wanted to be a photogdoing something wrong.
-rapher. Then, I dropped out of University to attend the Art Institute my second year of college. I only stayed for two terms and decided I didn’t like it. In my classes I had never had the opportunity to shoot fashion. Then, years later, I did some kind of silly photos of a friend after watching ANTM and realized that I did really like photography, I was just shooting the wrong thing. So, I went back to photography school and finished my bachelors, focusing on fashion. SJ: What has been the biggest challenge you have come across as a photographer? LJ: Learning to budget. Client work comes and goes. Sometime clients come in droves of large numbers and you’re so busy you don’t know what to do with yourself. Then there’s none, and you’re worried you’ll never work again. Hopefully this will even out someday, or after moving into a bigger market with more fashion clients, but right now I’m always struggling to properly budget with my income throughout the year. SJ: Do you find your skills as a photographer to be advantageous when putting con-
-ent together for JUTE? part in any of the shooting for each series. LJ: For sure! I know a good photo The best I can equate it to is being a proud when I see one. More than anything mother, although I’ve never experienced I can think about what my perspec- motherhood. tive is when submitting to magazines and what I look for in a publication. SJ: Why did you pick the name JUTE? I want clean graphics on my photos; LJ: Because it’s an alternative material in fashsomething I can put in my portfolio ion, and I felt our message is an alternative proudly. I want my pictures next to message. “From Gucci to Guess to Goodwill” other really good photographers as It somehow fit us. I love the sound of it, too, well. Even past the content, being a and it has the first two letter of my last name. photographer keeps me very aware of the other mistakes magazines All photos were provided by Lynzi Judmake, like not sending tear sheets in ish. Interviewing her was like having the a timely fashion, or even at all, or not chance to speak to someone I’ve adored being responsive to emails. There are and admired from afar. If you have nevso many rude and disrespectful thingser read JUTE I advise you to enlighten I have experienced as a photographer yourselves and get into it. It was one of the submitting to magazines, so I don’t first magazines that really reaffirmed my want Jute to ever be that way. love for fashion and all things photogenic. It is available to view on ISSUU. I hope SJ: What would you like your readers you enjoyed seeing her work and the next to remember the most about JUTE? couple of pictures are also from her portLJ: Quality editorial work and cre- folio. ative clothing. Garments and storytelling that are inspiring. Lynzi: Website: lynzijudish.com SJ: What has been your fondest mem-Facebook: Lynzi Judish Photography ory as the Editor in chief of Jute? Instagram/Twitter/Tumblr: @lynzijudish LJ: Every time an issue releases. It makes me so proud, and I somehow Jute: feel deeply connected to the work, Website: jutefashionmagazine.com even though I didn’t physically take Facebook: Jute Magazine
- Rudo Nondo The Business of Fashion in Zimbabwe Starting my clothing line required a leap of faith more than anything else. The Birth of ANAIA Designers Collective was birthed from $140 with $40 going into a return bus ticket to Zambia to buy fabric and $100 for the actual fabric. I was lucky enough to have a seamstress who agreed to make 4 dresses and a skirt and get paid straight after the fashion show which we were taking part in at a birthday party. The Collective was made up of two designers and one sales and marketing associate. We received enough orders at the party to pay our seamstress for the previous as well as the new one.
and ANAIA was birthed. My journey in Fashion in Zimbabwe has been short albeit extremely eventful. I have seen the importance of following oneâ€™s passion and I have also learnt that turning your passion into a business can be an extremely painful process.
Taking the Risks Alone Starting my business required a huge leap of faith and a lot of sacrifices. Firstly I had to learn to have faith in myself and be certain that this is what I was called to do. I started off in a partnership as I did not believe that I could run a business on my own somehow there is a level of comfort knowing that the risks are split but the risk comes when people with different ideas come together. My experience with partnerships has shown me that visions need to be aligned and it is very important to sign contracts this way Following that I made another trip to Zambia to buy fabric this time for items everyoneâ€™s interests are protected. to show at The St Johns Fair but as with any business sales are not always guar- The Importance of Participating anteed and sadly shortly after that De- I have taken part in 5 markets since startsigners Collective was dissolved due to ing my brand and I have realized the importance of going out to meet the clients. irreconcilable differences and ANAIA
I remember the very first market I took part in I had made some samples and printed 100 business cards. I didnâ€™t sell anything that but I received two call backs and to date I have participated in four markets and have been building a client base at a steady pace. I have learnt to approach each market with a positive attitude and with the attitude to sell items. Everyone that approaches my stand should leave with an item of clothing or with my business and they should also leave their contacts. This is how client lists are built.
remember the 2nd market I took place in had 4 designers working with the exact same print that I was working with. This was a huge wake - up call as I realized that I had to put that much more effort into. Although African print is extremely popular and has been trending for the past two years I took the risk of moving away from this as I wanted to be set apart from the rest. I found this a worthwhile risk to take as it has opened many avenues for me in business.
Setting yourself Apart from the Rest
Running a Sustainable Business in a Tight Economy
When I started my brand I started off with African print as that what the market was calling for, I remember the 2nd market I took place in had 4 designers
My business ethos is promoting sustainable and ethical fashion, working in this environment it can be very tempting to take
It is extremely risky especially when going against the grain but the rewards Although sales are not always made the are high. As a business person I always importance of participating lies in the try and set myself apart from the rest networking and being interested in what and continue to push myself outside is happening around you. I have learnt the the conventional box. I provide clients importance of learning from others as with what they want but I stay true to someone is always doing something dif- myself and creative often not being too ferent to what you are doing. We all have sure how the market will take what I something to give and it is vital to work am releasing but knowing that at least in unison in a growing industry, this way one person out there will like what I am we can set the pace and set the trends. offering.
take shortcuts especially when it comes to paying seamstresses and tailors what they deserve. Although this cuts into profit I believe that everyone in the production line should be earning a fair wage. As a business I am responsible for my teamâ€™s well being and I will do my best to ensure that they are paid more than minimum wage. I am still learning a lot about myself as well as how to run a business as my business is still very young I take each day as an opportunity to learn and to continuously make improvements in the way I go about my business.
-NYASHA MAVU a different destiny was already written in “Its a beautiful thing when a passion and stars? Thirteen years later, I’m not living the perfect life I put on my vision board a career come together” Unknown but I am living out my dream as a fashion blogger. For me, writing has been a passion from a young age. For some reason, Life has had a very funny way of revealI could never fully express myself verbally so I resorted to writing my ing my destiny to me and if I didn’t know any better, I would be convinced that I feelings instead. My writing was an became a fashion blogger purely by achonest reflection of the issues I was dealing with growing up but I never cident. I feel like I literally blinked and before I knew it, I had a fashion blog that once considered it to be any more ignited hidden passions and unlocked unthan a ‘nerdy’ hobby. I had my life all planned out and writing full time forseen dreams that seem bigger than me. Fashion blogging has become my life, a wasn’t a part of the plan. safe platform for me to share my personal In primary school my dad asked me style experiences and journey with people around the globe. to make a vision board of the life I wanted when I grew up. It was a great idea, I had so much fun cutting Blogging has created a virtual space in which people from all over the world out pictures, creating my perfect future. A beautiful house, top of the have a voice. A voice to express, to connect and to share ideas. With rapidly range BMW, a banging career (as a increasing connectivity, bloggers from financial auditor) , a husband and two beautiful, happy children. How different parts of the world are able to was I to know a different destiny was collaborate, work on various projects
together and create blogger networks to claim a piece of virtual territory. In the short time that I have been blogging, I have managed to guest blog on an Italian blog, participate in a bloggers beauty week with two Zimbabwean bloggers based in the UK and best of all, writing two pieces for Coquettes Magazine’s first issue ever. I have claimed a virtual territory all the way from Zimbabwe.
promotion through sharing their personal style experiences, stories and recommendations, appealing to wider, broader audiences from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Brands from all over the world (big or small), have started partnering with bloggers for advertising campaigns, events and marketing collaborations. More so in the fashion industry, brands Bloggers have definitely taken over vir- have started to realise that fashion blogtual space, as we know it and have com- gers play a vital role in influencing conpletely changed the online retail industry. sumer purchasing decisions. According to a report by Fashionbi, “fashion bloggers have gained influence and Fashion blogging is a rapidly thriving grown to be leaders in the fashion indus- industry which has seen numerous suctry.” cessful bloggers become brand ambassadors, for brands such as Louis Vuitton, The Blogosphere has transitioned, blog- Chanel, Estèè Lauder and Marc Jacobs. ging has moved away from a commentary platform to be a major player in comFor example, Estèè Lauder bought on merce. In the early, 2000s fashion blog- Zhang Xinyuan as an ambassador for gers completely transformed and revo- their number 430 lip colour. As part of lutionised the way fashion was covered the campaign, Zhang encouraged conoutside of journalism, retail and labels. sumers to play Estèè Lauder’s WeChat Up to this point, brands had heavily re- game. The collaboration was a success, lied on magazines, company websites and generating 12 000 consumers and 239 costly marketing campaigns to promote 000 views on WeChat. Louis Vuitton their products without nearly as much is known for the highest ranked collabreach as the blogosphere. Bloggers man- orations with online influencers and age to create a new, creative and dynam- fashion bloggers such as Kristina Bazan. ic dimension to marketing and product In 2014, Chanel partnered with blogger
Peony Lim for an ad campaign.
-tion of any kind does not change that. I could be wrong but I think that all blogs The industry has seen fashion bloggers (successful or unsuccessful) are driven by such Aimee Song, Chiara Ferragni get passion because of the sheer amount of the first pick of designer collections, work that goes into blogging and mainDior, for example and get invited to taining a blog. Earning an income or comsit front row at shows and runways. In pensation for a blog can only be an added turn, these fashion bloggers wear de- bonus that cannot actually alter the landsigner clothes. Wearing and promoting scape or purpose of blogging. designer collections allows them to set the latest trends and influence their So are fashion bloggers important to fashfollowers and other fashion profession- ion industry? I say YES. Fashion bloggers als in the industry. have contributed and will continue to contribute to the fashion world in ways that Personally, the best part of fashion no one else can, even if they tried. Fashion blogging is the ability to take looks blogging is on the rise and fashion blogthat arenâ€™t always ready to wear and gers, worldwide continue to get recognitranslating them into everyday life, in tion with shows such as Fashion Bloggers creative, fun and simple ways. I love on E! that I can explore my own style freely, learn from others and positively imNyashaâ€™s website: pact the style decisions of those that stylesquadzim.wordpress.com relate to my blog posts. Facebook: A number of critics have come forStyle Squad Zimbabwe ward arguing that fashion blogging and blogging in general, has been become Instagram: too commercialised, losing its value @stylesquadzim and importance to the respective industries. Its a very contentious debate Twitter: that has continued to rage on even @stylesquadzim today. I honestly think that passion is at the heart of blogging and compensa-
Narcissique: The editorâ€™s Editorial
Sasha Jokomo for Coquettes by Rutendo Denise .R. : How did the idea for the cover come about? SJ: First of all, let me just say it feels a little weird being interviewed by you. It’s awesome in a trippy kind of way. The idea came to me around two years ago. Approximately a year after I had ventured into self-portrait photography. I wanted something unique borderlining on iconic. I think I’m on the right track..first in Africa and all. .R.You call out for and encourage artistic development in the Zimbabwean Fashion industry, where does that passion come from? SJ: I guess it comes from a place inside of me that always feels like our industry is lagging behind. Living in London - one of the world’s most dynamic and exuberant fashion capitals, always tends to remind me that we have a long way to go. But because I know that we have a lot of potential I
want to see us get there.. I want to see us compete and carve our own space in the fashion industry..in my lifetime anyway. .R.: Do you consider yourself a pioneer of Zimbabwean fashion? SJ: I believe it’s way too early in my career to call myself a pioneer. I mean..I’m only 21 and I haven’t done a lot to change the industry. Maybe the way people may think. I see myself as more of an advocate for Zim fashion. I’m trying to bring what we have and offer it to the world. .R.: What’s behind the title of the cover editorial? SJ: People outside of the fashion industry tend to associate self-portraits with narcissistic behaviour. I’m having a Coquettish tongue in cheek moment and playing on the concept and what some people may perceive it to be. .R.: What makes CQS different? What does it bring that’s different to Zimbabwean publications that are already out there? SJ: I don’t think of CQS that way. But if
I had to pick out a few things i’d say that tends to stick out and comes to mind immediately is the fact that we have produced more editorials. We are fashion based and features are just an added bonus. We aim to showcase High Fashion but also just have really good pictures. There are many magazine out there that take a different stance on this but I feel we are more in the business of shining a spotlight on like minded individuals who want to advocate for our industry which has so much potential but is way too divided.
It’s a process, but I am getting there.
One of our biggest strengths is where we are based. London is a massive fashion hub that has fashion shows and events going around all the time so it is very easy to draw inspiration. Another thing I find that makes us different is that we have a global view when it comes to fashion, yes we have our roots in Zim but that doesn’t mean we can’t promote and talk about other global artists of note.
.R.: What do you dare other Zimbabweans to do?
.R.: What publications do you see yourself aligning with? SJ: That would be ones that I admire like Jute, Madame Figaro, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue Italia and France. But that is in the future, at the moment I really want to explore where we fit in and what our identity is.
SJ: Dare to be different, dare to feel, to live and to experience. But above all dare to be the best version of yourself whilst making a difference. Have fun with it! Time moves very quickly in the fashion industry.
.R.: What is in the cards for CQS’s .R.: Who is Sasha away from the camera and future? magazine? SJ: Growth, excitement, adventure SJ: Sasha is an empowered empress who and glory. The whole nine yards. speaks 5 languages and loves gaming. I like The future is what we make it, and to travel and meet new people; I’m very that future is yet to be determined. open to exploring new things and I’m con- Bisous to all our lovely readers and stantly looking for ways to improve myself. followers!