Models, designers recount on Fashion Week

• By Rosalia David

AFTER a handful of seasons viewing the collections virtually due to the pandemic, showgoers were finally back together to see different collections during the jam-packed five days of the MTC Windhoek fashion week.

The biggest local annual fashion show which took place last week has seen upcoming designers and models making a name for themselves introducing different ready to wear garments year-in year-out.

In an interview with Confidente this week, renowned model Johanna Swartbooi said this year’s event gave a huge platform for budding designers and models compared to the past, with them walking away with contacts that will elevate their brands.

“I have seen the growth of the event and I can say that this year’s event was quite impressive as it created a bigger platform for upcoming designers and models to get the exposure they deserve,” she said.

Swartbooi said what stood out for her the most were the outfits presented by students from the College of the Arts.

Model Leena Shipwata who has been on the runway ever since the fashion show started in 2016 also applauded the event organisers saying that the event impresses every year.

“I loved wearing garments of designers from all over Africa and most especially Namibia. I consider myself unique because I am willing to do the long hours, I train constantly and consistently and I have ran with a look and sold it and now every designer, photographer and fashion enthusiast wants to work with me,” she added.

Asked on who her favourite designer was this year, Shipwata said all designers brought out their A game presenting pieces that are worth wearing.

“I wouldn’t say I had a favourite designer as all the collections were unique and wonderfully tailored but I would say because I’ve seen the journey of these two designers, I am entirely proud of how outstanding their collections were – Zuriel by Luis Munana had an amazing showcase and each garment was thoroughly thought out – and the Clan by Lafika Joyce was exceptionally well done! Her collection made so much sense to fashion.”

She further said however what stood out the most was the new faces that were cast as part of Fashion Week this year.

“That really made me happy because that’s what I was hoping for and expecting. The industry only grows when we give people a chance. I had to prove myself to be great and there is still room for others to do the same. MTC Windhoek fashion week is very much like me, we are destined for greatness.”

Fashion designer Johanna Montana who took part in the fashion week for the first time shared the same sentiment saying that it was a lifetime experience having to showcase her art as a third-year student.

“I have gotten a lot of exposure and impressing feedback on my Jomona clothing line. People have shown high interest in my work which made me more eager to become extra creative with my next pieces. It was a great  experience. It was my first time but would now love to take part in more fashion shows.”

In addition runway and commercial model Albert Moses who has been in the modelling industry for a while -and also his sixth year in a row taking part- showed appreciation to local designers, however he also expressed the exhaustion that comes with the runway.

“This year was definitely over the top. Our local designers brought their A game with their designs and the models made sure people drooled when they saw the garments on the runway.

“My personal experience is that fashion week has always been the same in terms of routine. All I can say is thank God backstage is not the same as on the ramp. The running up and down for those quick changes, the standing for ages waiting to go out there and kill it, the level of exhaustion everything hurting; back, feet, legs et cetera … and this is all for the love of fashion.

“In the end it all pays off because when you look at the pictures and the hype from attendees, it’s amazing,” said Moses.