Fashion designer Charity Nyirongo of Mo Creations and Couture calls attention to the contribution of local fashion to Zambian tourism. Speaking at Hub of Africa Fashion Week 2015 in Addis Ababa, she invited the government to fund the creation of designing institutions to boost local talent and establish the country as a fashion and tourist destination. In particular, Nyirongo laments the collapse of the Zambian textile industry.
“Zambia has the potential of producing internationally recognised designers as it has a lot of good and talented designers but local fashion designers lack good and indigenous materials for the couture industry hence are forced to import from other African countries. Investing in fashion designing can help revive our textile industry.”
Nyirongo is a vocal advocate of African fashion, which she considers “the expression of our traditions, cultures and tribes.” In her vision, fashion preserves culture and is a vehicle of self-knowledge. “I showcase Zambian culture through the use of the African print which is used in Zambia by our tribes as a traditional cloth. Zambia has 73 tribes, of which all have various tribal cultural ceremonies. I get my inspiration from these various tribes and cultural ceremonies which are colorful and diverse. Most of these tribes also use a lot of beadwork in their costumes.”
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