After a while without the much anticipated Uganda International Fashion Week in the eyes of several fashion diehards, the event finally returned last week at the Kampala Serena Hotel. To create a difference this time around, designs showcased were fused with a rich South African touch of fashion. The event was not a one-day affair, it started earlier with a couple of fashion activities.
Form is temporary, class is permanent. Arapapa’s Santa Anzo lived true to the adage when her Uganda International Fashion Week (UIFW) made a grand comeback at the Kampala Serena Hotel, last week from on 2nd to 4th of August, 2019.
Hosted by ARAPAPA by Santa Anzo in proud association with South Africa’s Department of Arts and Culture, UIFW 2019 lived up to its billing as Uganda’s biggest fashion event, even after a decade hiatus.
The event’s main focus, which emphasized ‘The Business Behind Fashion,’ magnified the potential of fashion as a vehicle for swift economic development in Africa.
“Fashion, like Petroleum and Gas, Communication and Tourism, Agriculture and Transport is a multi-billion industry awaiting exploitation. Uganda, the time is now!” said Santa Anzo, MD and Chief Fashion Designer, Arapapa while addressing the fashion enthusiasts who attended the event.
The Uganda International Fashion Week climaxed with a grand showcase featuring some of Africa’s finest designers including four South Africans and home-grown talent. With international fashion producer Jan Malan directing the show, it met the standards of a showcase in the fashion capitals of the world like Paris, Milan and New York.
The designers who showcased included Alvada Collections, Judith Artelier and Mmuso Maxwell from South Africa, plus Uganda’s Arapapa by Santa Anzo, Abbas Kaijuka of Kia’s Divo Collection, Paula Butagira and Fatumah Asha.
Away from the runway showcases, the two-day event included highly interactive seminars, discussion panels, knowledge-sharing, mentorship and master class sessions.
Another objective of UIFW is to create an intersection between fashion and tourism. Uganda Tourism Board CEO Lilly Ajarova used the event to sell Uganda’s tourism offerings to guests including the fact that Uganda has more than 50 percent of the world’s endangered mountain gorilla population, the source of the River Nile and the second largest fresh water body in the world. Ajarova said that tourists are looking for more offerings apart from natural resources and noted that this is an opportunity our unique fashion can tap into.
Founded in 2003, UIFW has inspired, nurtured and developed the local fashion industry into a vibrant sector, recognized by the business sector, academia, tourism sector, government and diplomatic missions.
The event was made possible by support from Uganda Tourism Board, Kansai Plascon and Kampala Serena Hotel.
The finallist designers at Uganda international Fashion Week were, Fatumah Asha, Kai’s Divo Collection, Giosef by Paula Butagira, Judith collections from South Africa and Arapapa by Santa Anzo. Other notables were Abryanz, Judith Heard and Joram Muzira among others. Besides the runway cut walks, guests were ear-massaged by the talented saxophonist, Joseph Sax.
Content courtesy of UIFW & Nairobi fashion hub