SOUTH AFRICAN-based Zimbabwean fashion designer, Kuda Matiza of House of Hohwa said his designs are inspired by the different stories, cultures and diversity on the African continent.
In an interview with NewsDay from his Johannesburg base, Matiza said the need for cultural expression in modern Africa plays an important role in the creation of his garments.
“The interest to venture into fashion industry was inspired by the need to express and tell many stories that Africa has through constructive garments and that is when I established House of Hohwa that has three collections namely Urban Shroom, Mambokadzi and Winds of Change,” he said.
“As an individual, I always want to open dialogue on a number of topics with the aim to influence or inspire individuals.”
The self-taught designer said his ability to think outside the box and do things differently enables his designs to appeal to global trends.
“My first collection, Urban Shroom, symbolises the emergence of urban ethnic wear into the modern-day representing the arrival of Africa in the urban sphere, while our second collection, Mambokadzi (loosely translated means queen), defines the urban woman, whose values and character are represented in the way she dresses,” he said.
“House of Hohwa’s third collection, The Winds of Change collection, was inspired by the famous speech given by former British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in Cape Town in 1960 on a ‘winds of change’ tour encouraging change to colonial rule and liberation of Africans.”
A music and film graduate, Matiza said although Zimbabwean fashion creatives are yet to make a global impact, there is a lot of authentic talent that is waiting to be unearthed.
“Zimbabwean fashion trends, like most African ones, are slowly inclining with global trends,” he said.
“Although we cannot take away from the few designers like Farai Simoyi, who have made strides, we need more of those designers and I believe it goes down to creating an environment that suits young aspiring designers to grasp the platform.
“There should be more fashion institutions and programmes to incubate talent so that it can start competing globally.
“We also need to make sure that we can also encourage each other to buy from local designers.”
Apart from dressing famous celebrities among them Miss Soweto 2015, Pandora Mabai (motivational speaker), former Miss Cape Town and South African actress, Portia Moemedi, Matiza has showcased his designs at the Zimbabwe Fashion Showcase in Birmingham, United Kingdom, Intwasa Fashion Week in Bulawayo, Nelspruit Wine and Cheese Expo and KOAS Fashion Show Cape Town.