“This trip was planned for months” Eva Mutsago confirms as waking up every Sunday morning to buy and organise fashionable clothing for Zimbabwe, comes into the mind of my dearest aunt. She would carefully assess the garments before buying them, ensuring they’re are up to her standards. Then when she is satisfied, she would buy the clothing she believes will make her customers happy. Her collection ranges from River Island dresses for the Zimbabwean teens, to nicely polished suits for adults from NEXT.
The biggest worry that came to mind was how people would put the clothes from the Western World together. The trend in Zimbabwe seems to be colour-blocking which is not entirely far from what we have seen here. However admittedly they seem to abuse this term. Where we involve colours that are in the same colour wheel, in Zimbabwe they tend to wear colours that clash. Criticisms aside, their eye for fashion is progressing thanks to those who inspire people to be involved. ” I don’t wait for people to come to me,” Eva claims “I go to them because fashion waits for no man!”
Every day Eva would carry about 6 bags filled with Western fashion goodies ready to sell to Zimbabweans in Harare – which was 45 minutes away from her home. Eva already had loyal customers who would wait for her next arrival with outfits. They humbly take her advice on styling and look fabulous while doing so. “I love to look good for work, because then I feel confident in what I am doing” one customer tells me, “by feeling good about your outer self, you feel almost invincible!” Eva’s customers also admitted as to how hard it is to find clothing in Zimbabwe. “There isn’t a lot of different styles here” one tells me, “so we have to wait for Eva to come around so we can harrass her to update us” and everyone was amused by this comment.
It was truly an inspiring moment stepping into Zimbabwe and witnessing it slowly emerging into the world of fashion. Even though it is evident that the economic crisis had affected the country, it has not prevented the people from having a burning desire to be kept updated on the latest trends. Eva Mutsago is just one case study of those who want to contribute in updating fashion in Africa as a nation. There are many people who are aware about bringing fashion cultures to both sides of the world, such as DeciMall, who are holding a massive event in showcasing modern African clothing mixed with Western trends. Look out for their fashion show which will be held in September!
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