While fashion weeks are about the official shows on the calendar with onlookers being enamored by big brands, it’s also an opportunity for emerging brands to get their name and brand in front of buyers, media, and the masses.
There is move in fashion to bring more African talent to the forefront, like the IFFAC Investment Holdings Company, an investment fund aimed at supporting Africa’s creative and lifestyle industries.
One such emerging brand that has sparked waves in his native Zimbabwe is Ishmael Tsakatsa, founder of Zargue’sia. His Paris Fashion Week show fell in line with the trends that’s already being seen for the spring summer 2022 season.
We’re seeing a lot of rich colour from brands and Zargue’sia’s unveiling revealed a lot of rich colour and use of light textiles. Earth tone browns and oranges are part of the colour palette, as well as orangey pinks, cremes, and baroque inspired prints. Themed “Stones of Fire,” it took Tsakatsa over 11 months to create from first sketch to fabric selection, pattern making, and last stitch.
“It was inspired by the innate human ability to pursue purpose with courage and determination regardless of the challenges and obstacles faced. Taking a literal example of a volcano, the hot molten lava is able to destroy anything standing as an obstacle in its way as it flows like a trailblazer,” he
This is his first Paris Fashion Week and creating the collection had its challenges.
“The preparations were very demanding but worth every single sweat. There were high expectations to be met with regards to how best l can represent Zimbabwe and Africa at large on my debut at Paris Fashion Week.”
Using and matching contrasting fabrics, another SS22 trend, Tsakatsa includes printed silk satin, beaded tulle, stretch duchess satin, soft linen, crepe, cationic chiffon, brocades and poly metallic satin and organza.
A collection of seven looks, one look, with a pussy bow neckline chiffon blouse with ruffles on the sleeves is paired with an empire waistline fitted brocade pencil skirt with piping detail. And Tsakatsa created a voluminous gown, a strapless tired ball gown with a beaded tasselled shoulder neckpiece.
Not originally trained in fashion design, Tsakatsa studied physiotherapy.
“I was inspired by the love of a royal aesthetic with elegant drama and opulence,” he muses.
“It started as a hobby way back then in my school days until I noticed that with my creative ability l had something fresh to offer to the world. I then launched my brand and since then I have never looked back.”
Presenting at Zimbabwe Fashion Week in 2012 in a young designer’s competition he decided to launch Zargue’sia in 2013, where he was nominated for the Emerging Designer of the year award.
The following year he won the Zimbabwean Designer of the Year award. Zimbabwe isn’t known for fashion, but for Tsakatsa he offers, “acquisition of entrepreneurial skills and knowledge in the fashion business and trade for economic development, growth and sustainability” to his country’s fashion industry. And for him, his collections are inspired by the Word of God from the Bible and the essence that lies behind the magnificence and radiance of God’s
It’s a collection of colour, inspired by nature, God’s beauty, that’s in sync with the trends fashion is seeing on the major runways for the SS22 season. Tsakatsa will be hosting a re-see later this month in Paris. — Forbes.