Kampala Fashion Week (KFW) returns for its second edition looking more like a couture charade than a fashion exhibition showpiece. The most visible of its diminishing marginal returns is the shift from the grand Kololo Airstrip, venue for last year’s inaugural event to the more miniscule Acacia Mall rooftop this year. The monthly showcases in the run-up to its Thursday November 12th showcase also exposed KFW founder, designer Gloria Wavamunno as one not running a tight ship after she arrived fashionably late for the October activation and blaming city traffic for her delay.
Her white lie would have counted for nothing if she had more than just a lone male fidgeting with the Power-Point projector that day for a team to run things. As a result, attendees (the bulk of Kampala’s fashion eco-system was conspicuously absent) missed out on watching a documentary, The True Cost, touted as a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story on the price of clothing.
They, however, got invaluable insights into the world of make-up especially from the self-taught Mona Faces who honed her skill by watching YouTube tutorials (https://www.facebook.com/Mona-faces-922567734431498/?fref=ts) and is now organically building her business of using the human face as a canvas. It was a very refreshing take on an industry known mostly for its rather vain models whose reach doesn’t go beyond the odd safe-sex billboard shoot. Yet there’s no missing that Kampala Fashion Week offers a viable opportunity to position Uganda on the global fashion stage but that’s only if it brings with it the sort of clout the Lagos Fashion and Design Week is doing in its bold attempt at getting Nigeria to jockey for Africa’s fashion crown.
A report on the Business of Fashion website, the Nigerian apparel market has been mapped into the bigger scheme of things in regards to its contribution to the oil giant’s $510 billion GDP, piggybacking off its vibrant film and music industry. Work with the export promotion board and bold discourse around funding (Nigeria has invested $5million in a fashion fund), education and manufacturing are what our industry needs. The brisk business by (pret-a-porter) outlets like d.e.f.i.n.i.t.i.o.n. and Bold offer a ready blueprint.
Text: MOSES SERUGO (firstname.lastname@example.org; WhatsApp; +256712291973)