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Why the fashion industry in Lesotho must be nurtured by Mahadi Granier

“Compared to the global fashion industry, Lesotho’s fashion industry remains relatively at infancy”, Mahadi Granier, Founder and CEO of Lesotho Fashion Industry. “Despite the rise of talent within the fashion domain, the lack of a formalized showcasing infrastructure that aims to bring to the forefront, the country’s artistic brilliance to the rest of Africa and the world, remains a market access barrier”, said Granier.

Lesotho’s top designers are currently getting ready to showcase their Autumn/Winter 19 collections at the inaugural Lesotho Fashion Week, set to premier 1-4 November 2018 at ThabaBosiu Cultural Village. Day 1 of the four day fashion extravaganza will feature a launch of iTUE space Design Capsule, a preview collection by top emerging Lesotho fashion designers. The capsule collection will be available for sale at iTUE space Design, an international boutique based in Grenoble, France for six months in 2019. Day 2 will comprise of the Business of Fashion conference, themed, “Building a successful career in fashion: Secrets from the experts” which will grant designers the core understanding of the business of fashion. Day three will comprise of solo catwalk shows by six female women’s wear fashion designers. Day 4 will comprise of a Designer Boutique (Shop the Runway) which will serve as a wholesale platform for designers to sell directly to the general public. Designers participating at Lesotho Fashion Week stand a chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to Paris, France where they will showcase their collection at Paris Fashion Week in February / March 2019, Autumn I Winter 19.

 

Granier emphasized that the fashion industry, both internationally and globally, creates a lot of economic value. “Not only does it create jobs within the clothing industry, but also in related industries along the value chain” she pointed out. Lesotho Fashion Week serves not only as a very important marketing tool, but seeks to promote “Brand Lesotho” across the African continent and world-wide through continuous marketing of the country, which will stimulate demand and international curiosity, while giving birth to several economic spill-over effects such as in increase in Tourism and associated job creation.

“In most recent years, Basotho culture has caught the Western fashion world’s eye, with many international brands like Louis Vuitton turning the Basotho blanket into fashion accessories. Most recently, Black Panther, a hugely successful super hero marvel movie was launched in 2018. One of the costume highlights in the film was the traditional Basotho blanket. This bears testimony to the fact that the world is taking the lead in the commercialization of Basotho culture for their own financial gain, much less to the benefit of the Basotho fashion creatives” said Granier.

 

“This event is hoping to attract the attention of a local and international audience, from young and aspiring creatives to affluent consumers who spend their disposable income in the luxury and fashion space”, said Granier.

 Four top female owned fashion design brands from Lesotho that will showcase womenswear collections are: Third Culture Kid (TCK), Tseli.M, Lushlush Lifestyle Solutions and Spirit of Art. International designers making their debut at Lesotho Fashion Week include Zhuang Ka Joang (Chinese-Indonesian-American) and Marabou Essentials from South Africa.

Venue: ThabaBosiu Cultural Village

Granier is thrilled to have ThabaBosiu Cultural Village as the venue for the inaugural Lesotho Fashion Week. ThabaBosiu Cultural Village is located at the foot of the ThabaBosiu plateau and is set along the Rafutho axis which is the main path up the mountain. ThabaBosiu Cultural Village is a multifaceted hospitality facility that has turned the ThabaBosiu National Monument into a vibrant tourist destination. The venue comprises of a 41 chalet lodge with a restaurant and a bar, a conference facility for a variety of meetings and events, a site museum and a traditional village as well as performance venues comprising of large grounds and an 800 seat amphitheatre.

For any tourist coming to attend Lesotho Fashion Week, ThabaBosiu Cultural Village is a “must see, must stay at” destination for a contemporary, yet uniquely Lesotho experience. There are daily guided tours up the ThabaBosiu plateau where the visitor has the opportunity to see the ruins of the Royal Village, the Mountain Sand Dunes as well as the grave of King Moshoeshoe I.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors from across the country and the continent to revel in this curated showcase of Lesotho’s top emerging designers on this world-class platform,” said Granier.

Tickets are available at: www.khalala.com/tickets

WTM Africa 2020