Zimbabwean designers and fashion brands seem to have the spotlight firmly on them in 2021. From Mary-Ann Msengi’s Farai London being launched across the UK and being worn by some of the biggest celebrities in the world to Ishmael Tsakatsa’s Zargue’sia debuting its latest line at Paris Fashion Week. The debut came with a small slice of Zimbabwean history as Tsakatsa became the first designer to do so.
The debut was facilitated by the current move in fashion to bring more African talent to the forefront. Projects like IFFAC Investment Holdings Company, an investment fund aimed at supporting Africa’s creative and lifestyle industries are leading the way in making that happen.
The latest line-themed “Stones of Fire,” took Tsakatsa almost a year to create, from the first sketch on paper to selecting fabrics, pattern making, and last stitch.
“It was inspired by the innate human ability to pursue purpose with courage and determination irregardless of the challenges and obstacles faced. Taking a literal example of a volcano, the hot molten lava is able to destroy anything standing as an obstacle in its way as it flows like a trailblazer,” he shared in an interview.
A collection of seven looks were on display from the designer and he is set to host a re-see later this month in Paris. It was quite a demanding task showcasing at his first Paris Fashion Week but the design relished it.
“The preparations were very demanding but worth every single sweat. There were high expectations to be met with regards to how best l can represent Zimbabwe and Africa at large on my debut at Paris Fashion Week.”
Ishmael Tsakatsa is the founder and head designer for the brand Zargue’sia. Born in 1992, Ishmael grew up with a love for unique fashion and style. Initially, he was trained in physiotherapy before dedicating his career to fashion.
He first appeared on the fashion scene at the Zimbabwe Fashion Week 2012 in a Young Designers competition. He then launched his brand Zargue’sia in 2013 at Zimbabwe Fashion Week where he was nominated for the Emerging Designer of the Year. He was awarded the Zimbabwean Designer of the Year title at the Zimbabwe Fashion Awards night in September 2014. Ishmael’s designs are mainly inspired by the word of God from the Bible and the essence that lies behind his brand is the magnificence and radiance of God’s beauty.