From NJABULO BUTHELEZI in Durban
DURBAN, (CAJ News) – SOUTH African fashion designer, Silungile Mokoena is not deterred by the economic challenges in Zimbabwe in her quest to expand to the neighbouring country.
The Kwazulu-Natal designer, owner of fashion brand Sluu, said the main objective behind her participating in this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) is that it falls in line with her goals of expanding her brand’s footprint beyond South Africa.
The fair will be held in the second city of Bulawayo next week.
“Zimbabwe makes for a favourable market for me to venture into because of its proximity to South Africa which makes it easy for me to move my goods.
In addition, the cultural similarities between the two countries makes it an attractive market to venture into,” added Mokoena.
Mokoena further mentioned her bridal range had received such positive demand in Bulawayo, so much so that she has been invited to showcase her designs at the Bulawayo Fashion Week which will be on April 28.
“My long long-terms goals include me obtaining my accreditation from the National Department of Higher Education and establishing a boutique for bridal wear. I have also been receiving numerous requests from people interested in learning about fashion design,” Mokoena said.
“I would like to establish an academy locally to tap into that demand and establish also a satellite branch in Bulawayo going forward,” added Mokoena.
Mokoena, who will be forming part of a business delegation that will be led by the Department of Trade and Industry to the 2017 ZITF, holds a National Diploma in fashion design and specialises in the manufacturing of high-end boutique wear, corporate uniforms and bridal wear.
South Africa’s participation at the ZITF follows on the heels of a successful participation in 2016 where a reported total of 431 trade leads were secured by exhibitors, with a total of 21 Zimbabwean agents appointed and export sales totalling R10 million recorded through participation.
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