This past Saturday, the #BotswanaUnplugged crew had a jol VVIP-style at the Masa Square Hotel Fashion Show aptly held under the theme, “Working Together to Build Botswana’s Creative Industry.” The weekend’s fashion showcase saw 12 young adults with a ‘passion for fashion’ being thrown in head first in a bid to encourage the discovery and growth of Botswana’s creative talent.
From the moment one stepped onto the Central Business District’s (CBD) Masa piazza, a classy setting which houses the business-first luxury hotel that strives to redefine the hospitality experience of business and leisure travellers in Botswana, the atmosphere spoke of fashion and panache as vogue enthusiasts, avid fans and premier business professionals alike came dressed to the nines, clearly demonstrating that citizens of Botswana are evidently coming-of-age in matters of elegance.
Refreshments and food were served in the open setting, also offering an opportunity to mingle with all the stars and fashionistas that had graced the Masa Square Hotel Fashion Show, an initiative that saw 12 seasoned fashion designers from the local fashion industry showcasing their collections on the runway, alongside 12 budding fashion entrepreneurs, a major step forward that seeks to encourage the discovery and growth of Botswana’s creative talent. The Masa Square Hotel Fashion Show was absolutely all the rage, as all came bouncing with their beautiful smiles, totally looking alluring, ready to take selfies (pictures) and interact with everyone.
All and sundry absolutely looked flawless. The function was all about charming, enchanting, dazzling and unique fashion coupled with fine cuisine, not forgetting the copious stiff and full-bodied yet refreshing drinks. Our crew was shy of finishing our glasses, fearing that we might overdo it (*hic*). Well, the evening got off to a flying start when fashion designers one by one took to the awing catwalk allowing attendees to see the stunningly designed garments up close.
The Masa Square Hotel Fashion Show gave all the 12 fashion designers a chance to showcase their stunning designs to Gaborone’s fashion-forward citizens, all focusing on the theme of “Working Together to Build Botswana’s Creative Industry”. The specially curated garments were exhibited in the dazzling ramp, and worn by the sashaying and sexy models. All of the young adults involved really stepped up to the mark and everyone came away from the experience with beautiful and creative garments.
However, at the end of the spectacular night, it was the duo of Candida & Wedu Montsho of DihDah who scooped the coveted ‘Designers of the Year’ at 2017 Masa Square Hotel Fashion Show as well as an opportunity to showcase in Kenya’s annual The Core Fashion Kenya after being voted as the best designers at the just ended annual Masa Square Hotel Fashion Show 2017. The husband and wife design duo, launched in 2013, will make its international debut in Kenya courtesy of an all-expenses-paid courtesy of Masa Square Hotel.
The Core Fashion Kenya platform is renowned to attract an estimated 300 plus fashion enthusiasts and feature three local and nine international designers from around the world who will all descend on Kenya on the 7th – 11th of November 2017. The unique fashion spectacle founded by Kenyan born Linda Murithi will be held at the state-of-the art Simba Corp Aspire Centre in Nairobi, followed on the 11th by a day of ‘pop-up shops’ dubbed The Exchange at the stylish and luxurious Tamarind Tree Hotel, located to the southwest of the city, Nairobi within the spacious Carnivore Grounds. Renowned show director and producer, Jan Malan who has staged high profile productions in 32 cities on four continents will also be present to offer his meticulous expertise as the show’s production partner.
Some of the renowned designers who will take part in The Core Fashion Kenya extravaganza include Haute Baso, Chulaap, ERRE, Loin Cloth & Ashes, Adele Dejak, Anyango Mpinga, Quiteria & George and Katungulu Mwendwa. An excited Wedu Montsho said they are happy to have been voted as the best designers adding that they will pull all the stops and represent the Botswana brand at The Core Fashion Kenya to epic proportions. Furthermore, Montsho said she could not thank Masa Square Hotel enough for giving their brand an opportunity to shine and ultimately winning the big prize which has also opened international doors for her and husband.
“Credit to all the designers who showcased tonight, I should think it was a tight call for the judges. All the designers did their best; some have even inspired us, as we find them in this fledging yet bubbling Botswana fashion industry. We are going to Kenya to sell not only our brand but the country too, such opportunities don’t come often and we pay gratitude to Masa Square Hotel for their unrelenting support to the fashion industry. The line up for the Kenyan fashion show is rich in experience. The good thing about these platforms is networking and who knows we might end further internationally which is our biggest aim really,” she concluded.
For his part, Masa Square Hotel, General Manager, Greg Soutter said his hotel will continue to be a change maker in helping many realize their dreams in the fashion industry. “We are in the business of hospitality but that is not going to stop us from working towards a goal of establishing a formidable fashion industry. Closely, the two work together. A great hospitality treat and good couture makes a client happy. We are going to continue to work towards a goal of helping this industry grow. We are excited about our first biggest fashion show that did not only showcase the line of established designers but also gave an opportunity to the upcoming designers to have a mentorship stint with the already established ones,” he said.
The Masa Square Hotel Fashion Show had attracted 12 established designers dubbed mentors; Lame Chilume of Switch Couture BW, Mummy Molapo of Fetish Culture, Tlamo Mosinyi of Bondphill, Kaone Moremong of House of Kay, Lesedi Matlapeng of Kefseddy Designs, Natasha Selelo of Tasha Creationz, Dikatso Motlapele & Anita Molosiwa of Eccentric Style Loft, Candida & Wedu Montsho of DihDah, Thabiso Dibeela of Thabie D Originals, Tankiso Mathware of Priestly, Botho Chalebgwa of Botocy and Delayna Scott of Delayna Scott designs.
The lucky 12 mentees chosen to participate in the inaugural MSH Fashion Mentorship Program included Boikanyo Molale, Thabiso Makwate, Katlego Moatshe, Pamela Ntshwarang, Lerang Keabile, Gomotsegang Dipuo, Tshepiso Abdulla, Ratanang Morontshe, Seatla Khutlo, Katlego Sengate, Temo Mpudi and Mpho Chepete.
Over the past 7 months leading up to the fashion spectacle this past Saturday, the mentees were tasked with designing an exclusive collection for the Masa Fashion Show. As part of the Show, the hotel also hosted a series of MSH Fashion Talk Shops over the course of the year to share valuable business insights from renowned local and international names. The speakers discussed their success stories, especially as African entrepreneurs and professionals. The purpose was to provide inspiration and key business tips from a variety of speakers who are directly and indirectly stakeholders of the creative industry.