Organisers of the annual Fashion Without Borders (FWB) say this year’s event will take place on April 7-8. Tebo Bakwena and Fashion Consultant Serge Kabisoso said they have made the event a two-day one so as to cater for as many designers as possible. “One day has always been too packed and that did not give clients enough time to see their favourite designers,” Kabisoso said. He said the first day will see upcoming designers showcasing while the second day will be reserved for established designers from across Africa that will be together to represent their countries. Bakwena said they will also have three designers from their past shows. One of their previous winners is also supplying shops in South Africa while one of their models is now based at Boss Models in South Africa.
12 from Botswana, 4 from SA
They revealed that even though they cannot reveal names, they are looking at about 12 designers from Botswana, four from South Africa and others from across Africa to have 18 designers in all for the event. Kabisoso said this year they are going for a secret venue, which they want to keep as a surprise. According to Bakwena, fashion has grown over the years but Batswana have not kept the pace because they like working alone. “If we could just work together all our lives will be perfect,” Bakwena said. Their dream is to have a hub to keep their designers under one roof because it is so difficult for clients to buy their clothes. They also want their designers to be able to design for supply and compete internationally. Kabisoso urged locals to grace this year’s event because it will be very exciting.
How it started
Bakwena – a wife and mother of two – has walked on the ramp before producing Fashion Without Borders Fashion Show. Her life in modelling and fashion work started in Johannesburg and through her company EFIGY Productions, they have rolled out the FWB brand across Africa. They have facilitated workshops for both designers and models. After realising the hardships of trying to make it either as a fashion designer or a model, they knew that they had to give back. “We realised that in the fashion industry it is about whom you know and it is always about same faces and same fashion designers, and having been there we know how it is difficult to break through,” she said. With FWB they are giving a platform to upcoming models and designers to showcase their craft while creating network opportunities for them. She said in Botswana there is no guidance for models or designers with modelling schools often taking advantage of them “We want to create a safe place and as well give them a chance to showcase outside the country, hence the fashion without borders part. We are trying to launch in Nigeria, South Africa and Congo so as to create a triangle and also fashion capital,” she said.
Kabisoso said fashion is an everyday thing as people have to shop for clothes to wear every day. “We want the designers to be able to go to many countries in Africa to showcase their talent because fashion can be taken very seriously in other countries. FWB grooms that because not every designer here can be able to go and take part in fashion shows around the world by themselves,” he said. Kabisoso said that is their aim of making sure that Botswana is in the map of the fashion industry. Bakwena said when they staged the first FWB there were a few people in attendance. But the second edition attracted the right people. Now preparing for the third edition, she said many people want to be part of it and even designers from all over the world including UK want to come and showcase at the show.