Local fashion designers have been encouraged to be authentic in their designs in order to sell Botswana designers freely and conspicuously to the world. The call was made today by Director Brand Botswana International Portfolio’s Gaorekwe Gaorekwe during the inaugural workshop hosted by the Masa Square Hotel Fashion show and Mentorship programme, adding that for Botswana to hold its own against the world’s fashion giants, local designers ought to be genuinely creative and brazenly creative.
“Most of the designers are in this industry to make a living out of it hence there’s nothing stopping Batswana from stamping their authority worldwide. The people who stand out are those who do everything significantly. As the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) through our marketing wing of Brand Botswana, we have made it possible to support our very own Botswana products,” said Gaerekwe adding that his organization is on the verge of bringing back the ‘Buy Botswana, Reka Botswana’ slogan.
Furthermore, GG as he’s affectionately called added, “We also have programmes such as the Botswana export development programme which is designed at ensuring that individual or groups are made ready for exportation. The most important thing is that all our products have to be authentic and stand out as Botswana products.”
“I have been privileged to have travelled the world and in every country there is a certain thing that makes them stand out. For instance Basotho of Lesotho are authentic with their signature blanket and the hat. It’s their originality, it is therefore important for us to be authentic by coming up with products that are Botswana savvy.”
For her part, Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS) Managing Director, Masego Marobela further encouraged all Botswana fashion designers to familiarise themselves with the standardization process so they are on par with other international designers’ standards and recognition. Marobela noted that this is something alongside the BOBS mandate as they have working relations with other bureau of standards across the world thus making it easier for Botswana fashion designers to penetrate markets internationally.
“This is a noble initiative by Masa Square Hotel to bring fashion designers under one roof to be able to mentor each other. This has given young designers an opportunity for growth as well as making their businesses sustainable. Innovation and creativity are the main key components in fashion but also proper standard such as labelling are also key because they provide orderly approach as this may include classification.”
The face of Masa Square Hotel Fashion show ambassador and radio personality, Oratile Kefitlhile also encouraged the fashion designers to grab the opportunity provided by Masa Square Hotel by the horns so as to enhance their budding careers. The workshop consisted of 12 renowned fashion designers including another 12 mentees.