African tribe adds the detail to graduate’s fashion collection

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Date: 17th Aug 2017

It was Zimbabwean roots and crafts of tribe women which made Nyasha Mabhunu’s fashion collection the colourful fusion that featured at African Fashion Week London (AFWL).

The 23-year-old, who graduates from Bucks New University’s BA (Hons) Fashion Design in September, was one of more than 100 designers with connections to Africa to show their collections at Freemasons’ Hall, London, on Friday and Saturday last week.Picture of African Fashion Week catwalk

Nyasha (pictured above), who lives in Uxbridge, said: “My collection was inspired by my identity, where I come from in Zimbabwe, and from a tribe called Mandebele. The women there handmade some of the beautiful beads I used in my collection. I met lots of other designers and people who work in the industry - stylists, models, bloggers and African TV reporters.”

AFWL is Europe's largest catwalk event showcasing African and African-inspired fashion design and is at the forefront of celebrating the surge of the continent-inspired trends.

The BBC also featured the two-day event on its London news, showing models walking the catwalk wearing Nyasha’s clothes throughout the three-minute video report.

“The best part of the event was walking out on stage and hearing everyone cheering and clapping,” explained Nyasha, who studied at the High Wycombe Campus.Picture of Nyasha backstage

“It really made me believe in myself - I am a designer and people do like what I am producing. Before that, in my head I was just a student and didn't really see myself on the same level to call myself a designer.

“Lots of people loved the collection and how different it was. It wasn't really focused on African prints, it was something that hasn't seen before. Another designer come up and told me I was talented and said they liked that my work was modern and unique.”

Nyasha plans to get more work experience with a designer before starting her own brand.

She praised the University and her lecturers Jane Bowler and David Hopwood: “Bucks really helped me to put myself out there, even if you think it's not going to work out, you have to just try it. I learned everything I know about the fashion industry at university, and my lecturers, who are both designers themselves, helped make my collection what is it right now.”

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