Since 2004, the fashion show events started in Rwanda as part of the entertainment. 15 years now and some of the fashion promoters and fashion events organizers agree that it’s a career like any others that can earn you a living. Modeling is a part of this journey in the fashion industry in Rwanda. Models don’t usually tell out how much money they make per month because they earn according to how many events attended but models agree that it’s a career that serves them and their families.
Umurerwa happy is one of the Rwandans fashion designers that are at an international level
It’s a career that has made many become famous such as Dady De Maximo, who now is a fashion designer based in Europe, Rosalie Gicanda who founded the 1st company that trains fashion designers, Cynthia Rupari who is a designer and tailor and Ntabanganyimana Jean de Dieu a model who recently won best African model.
Some of the people working closely with models say that it’s a career that is developing because it’s earning for so many and their families. Ntawirema Celestin the organizer of Rwanda Cultural fashion show is happy for the level which modeling has reached and he agrees that it’s a career like others. He says modeling is a career that one studies and learns at a high level. Modeling has a market depending on the client, sometimes it requires capital to start up like money to travel to and from modeling classes and other needs.
Ntawirema Celestin, organizer of the Rwanda Cultural Fashion Show.
Franco Kabano, who represents all models in Rwanda and earns from this career because he is sometimes invited abroad to train their models. Last year, he was invited to Burundi Fashion Week to train their models. However, he says that the government has to support this industry so that it can keep developing and profiting the people in it. We still have models at the international level and schools that train to the model are still few. He also calls out on other business to get involved in modeling and employ so many Rwandans who have that talent.
Franco Kabano representative of fashion designers in Rwanda.
A presenter, Kwizera Sam who hosts a TV show entitled Fashion focus on contact TV says that even if models are still paid little money but some earn a living from it. They do all their best to raise the level of modeling and we can’t ignore the fact that they entertain the most in fashion show events but you still find that they earn little money.
Kwizera Sam, a presenter of fashion focus on Contact TV.
Now there is a lot of famous fashion events like the Rwanda cultural fashion show, Kigali fashion week, collective Rw. These events are pillars to the fashion industry because they have presented so many models and are now at the international level.
We are Kevine Kagirimpundu and Ysolde Shimwe, both Creative Design University graduates who are friends and former college classmates. We used to dream a lot of the future, sharing life perspectives, and it was so pleasant how our desires converged to be a common vision. We share a passion for fashion and we wanted very much to create jobs for our community. Despite little means, we decided to join the industry even before we finished our studies, so we could learn while doing. We registered our company in June 2013. That’s how Uzuri K&Y started.
Rwanda Cultural Fashion Show 2019 Presents:
Rwanda Fashion Conference - Designed in Africa, Made in Rwanda
Rwanda Cultural Fashion Show is an annual fashion event to celebrate the designers of Rwanda and East Africa using materials from the African continent and drawing upon African culture. This year's events include a fashion tour, the annual fashion show, and our first ever conference.
The theme of the conference, "Designed in Africa, Made in Rwanda," is a series of thought-provoking panel discussions about the fashion industry in Rwanda and East Africa. Keynote speakers will include a fashion designer and a Rwanda government representative to discuss the "Made in Rwanda" campaign.
According to a report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the fashion industry will double in the next 10 years, generating up to $5 trillion annually. As part of Rwanda's strategy to position the country as a hub for regional and international events, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) is prioritizing the fashion industry.
Rwanda Fashion Conference
Date: Friday, 6 September 2019
Location: Kigali, Rwanda, venue TBC
Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The RCFS Fashion Conference will:
- Educate and inspire conversations about evolutions within the fashion industry and developments in regards to culture and sustainability in fashion.
- Showcase local and international fashion designs
- Strategically support and strengthen sustainable fashion, creative business development in textiles and the manufacturing industries within Rwanda by creating opportunities for fashion designers, customers, government supporters, the private sector, etc to discuss how to make the Made in Rwanda campaign thrive.
RCFS' managing team is working alongside manufacturers, fashion designers, retailers, suppliers, education institutions, cultural organizations, and textile industries to organize this year's conference.
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House of Tayo, with a signature style described as ‘Afrocandy,’ has steadily gained prominence across Rwanda. Established in 2011 by Matthew Rugamba, House of Tayo is known for their colorful bowties, shirts, and custom suits. Rugamba, as one of Rwanda’s early fashion designers and co-founder of CollectiveRw, has been dedicated to building up the fashion community, changing Rwanda’s fashion narrative, and collaborating with like-minded brands. Rugamba creates iconic designs inspired by the Motown era, traditional British tailoring, and his own African heritage. In using design as a tool to tell stories about his home country of Rwanda, he paints a richly diverse, fantastical, fast-paced, and sophisticated picture of Rwanda today.
GLO CREATIONS is a textile design and printing house. Blended with Rwandan cultures and traditions, these one of a kind works are striking in their creativity and ingenuity. We feature a large variety of beautiful batik on clothing as unforgettable gifts, decorative items for the home and fashion outfits.
GLO CREATIONS is a textile and clothing design house. We design patterns on textile and make fashionable clothing and home decor accessories. Hand printed fabrics with different hand techniques (Batik, Screen printing); Batik adult t-shirts; batik kid's t-shirts; batik cushion covers; batik wall hangings Hand-printed cushion covers, hand-printed table runners, etc...
Location: KN 1 Avenue, Kigali
Founded by Linda Mukangoga, Haute Baso produces some of Rwanda’s most creative, colorful, and innovative clothing and accessories. As the creative director, Mukangoga started Haute Baso upon realizing there were few options for Rwanda-made gifts and apparel. Passionate about collaborating with fellow designers and individuals in the creative sector, Haute Baso is a ready-to-wear lifestyle brand, designing contemporary pieces with subtle Rwandan accents. Their quality and craftsmanship are not limited to just their designs, as they also invest in young women throughout Rwanda by way of vocational training, entrepreneurial mentorship, and employment.
Haute Baso’s minimal yet fashion-forward style is becoming known around the world, and Mukangoga’s lines have appeared recently at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Johannesburg. Additionally, Haute Baso has also been featured in Vogue, Forbes, Vanity Fair, CNBC Africa, CNN, and many other publications. Keep an eye on their website for an e-commerce shop to come that will service North America and Europe.
Founded by model-turned-designer Moses Turahirwa in 2011, Moshions has gained prominence as a bespoke tailoring brand. His unique label is inspired by contrasting elements such as modernity and ancestry, anarchy and severity, and spectacle and depth. His clothing, often minimalistic and with small flourishes of traditional Rwandan influence, is known to be of excellent quality, creative, and easy to wear.
He recently showed his designs at the CollectiveRw fashion show in Kigali, as well as across the region and Nigeria. Moshions is simple, elegant, and only getting better with time.
Sonia Mugabo (SM) began in 2013 as the brainchild of Sonia Mugabo herself. SM is one of the premier fashion houses in Rwanda, and Mugabo, as the chief designer and entrepreneur, creates beautiful clothing for the stylish and modern individual. Her timeless designs have become known as some of Rwanda’s finest, and her brand is undoubtedly a reflection of herself; elegant, feminine, and whimsical. By breaking barriers and creating an accessible and genuine brand story, Mugabo is on her way to becoming one of the region’s most beloved designers.
She has been featured in several major publications, and recently showed her designs in the Collective RW fashion week. SM also plans to eventually expand to other global fashion markets, and hopefully, present seasonal collections on the runways of major fashion shows around the world. Named one of the 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa by Forbes and one of Glam Africa’s 5 African designers to watch, Mugabo is going places.
Rwanda Cultural Fashion Show (RCFS ) Model Casting 2019 is an audition that allows local and international runway models to participate as models. Selected models will be on the big podium at RCFS 2019, the 7th edition, 7th Sept. RCFS is looking for charismatic people with a dazzling personality to take part in this year’s edition.
We invite emerging talents and beginner models, professionals and over 16 years old, to meet the jury. Present yourself at the Great Seasons Hotel- Gacuriro on July 23 from 10 am to 5 pm and show the judges what makes you different. Upon your arrival, a participation form will be given to you, we will take your picture and you will have to walk and pose in front of our jury. No photo or cv is needed at the day of casting.
Here are our conditions to participate:
- Apply online at www.rcfs.rw
- You must be 16 years old and above.
- Valid ID will be requested on site.
- Pay registrations fee 3,000 Rwf
Audience members pay 2,000 Rwf to follow casting activities. More information about the requirements check the poster below:
Kigali Fashion Tour is the first fashion tour by RCFS and will be a part of the 2019 Rwanda Cultural Fashion Show event series. In this tour, you'll get to know the town of Kigali by bus as your tour guide points out heritage sites and evidence of Kigali’s rapidly developing economy. The tour will stop at 2-3 fashion houses, boutiques or fashion shops. Participants will be able to exchange ideas with local fashion designers and do some shopping.
Our goal is to connect fashion designers with clients and promote local designers from Rwanda and the region.
Location: Kigali City
Date: Thursday, 5th September 2019
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30pm (Tour 1# from Milles Collines Hotel -Parking)
2 pm to 5 pm (Tour 2# from Kigali heights -Parking)
Reserve Saturday morning tour & exhibition- 7th Sept. from 9:30 to 12:30 (Tour 3# from Kigali heights -Parking.
- 25,000 Rwf(includes bottle of water, RCFS T-shirt, transportation to and from designated pick up point + 10% discount on any purchases at shops visited during the tour)
- 30,000 includes items above plus a ticket to the RCFS Fashion Show later that evening.
Any purchases at fashion shops will be the responsibility of the tour participants.
RWANDA CLOTHING is the Rwandan fashion brand and will be one of the world market leaders of African fashion in terms of design and quality of our products as well as our brand popularity and recognition. RWANDA CLOTHING will become the first known fashion producer from Africa worldwide and a pioneer in creating a brand new market segment: African fashion international.
RWANDA CLOTHING was established in February 2012 in Kigali by founder Joselyne Umutoniwase who is the creative mind behind the brand and one of the best new talents in creating fashion in Africa. She is born in Rwanda and has developed her famous design artwork over the last decade while living and working in Africa and Europe.
The philosophy behind Joselyne’s brand is simply to set the highest standards of customer care and customer satisfaction in African fashion. We truly love our customers.
RWANDA CLOTHING is designed to become a fashion revolution by establishing its own Rwandan style and fashion identity. Our high-quality products will change the perception of fashion and the buying behavior of people in Rwanda and in the whole of Africa.
RWANDA CLOTHING shall also be an example for respecting ethical values and human dignity and each and every decision our company makes must consider the consequences from an economic, social, cultural and ecological viewpoint and should contribute actively to the wellbeing and sustainable development of the Rwandan community.
Canada-based African Vogue and humanities Motion (AFAM) and Rwanda Cultural Vogue Present (RCFS) just lately signed a Memorandum of Understanding to advertise African trend, and humanities and to create public consciousness of the expertise and high-quality designs in each Canada and Africa.
The partnership seeks to discover areas of potential collaboration throughout completely different disciplines and initiatives together with, collaborating between the 2 companies by exchanging expertise in occasion administration, and exchanging technical help reminiscent of trainings for African fashions and African trend designers.
Each event additionally agreed to assist and help African designers to take part in African trend and humanities motion in Vancouver, Canada and in addition develop alternatives for African artists, together with trend designers, runway and photogenic fashions, photographers, cultural and conventional dancers, and tailors.
Rwanda Cultural Vogue Present made six years this yr.
Celestin Ntawirema, the CEO of Rwanda Cultural Vogue Present, revealed that the present was capable of appeal to the western audiences and that’s how the Canadian agency determined to associate with them to make the occasion higher.
“The style trade in Rwanda remains to be on the transfer and this partnership will promote Made-in-Rwanda on the worldwide stage. Additionally, trend designers and fashions will attend the presentation and can meet different individuals since they may have a global stage,” he stated.
AFAM is an organization devoted to growing instructional alternatives for younger Africans and bettering international understanding of Africa. AFAM Vancouver targeted effort on shifting the narratives about Africa and the African diaspora to enhance the standard of knowledge accessible and problem monolithic and anachronism stereotypes.
RCFS is a discussion board for native and worldwide cultural trend designers, to showcase their designs. It’s a change of trend, life, and artwork by rising and established trend designers. It brings collectively trend designers, coverage makers, and customers. AFAM exhibits characteristic fashionable African designs reminiscent of kitenge, (African print), batik, and different artistic works by African designers.
Local designers left fashion enthusiasts fascinated with their stunning collection of the African print designs that were showcased at the Rwanda Cultural Fashion Show. This was at the 6th edition of the annual event was held at the Kigali Conference and Exhibition Village held on September 8. Fashion lovers came together to witness the creations of those that have made fashion and design their passion.
Local designers who took part in the show included Cynthia Rupari of Rupari Agency, Charlotte Shema of Touch of Rwanda Fashion Designs, Patrick Muhire of Inkanda house, Diane Mugeni Ngendahimana of Mundi Collections, while foreign designers were CM Class from DR Congo, Fathia Creations from Ghana and Esther Lam Couture from Nigeria.
The event, that began a few minutes past 7p.m, had models display different amazing fabrics like African prints that included kitenge, kente, and black cloth fused with modern touch to create colorful outfits. Charlotte Shema, from Touch of Rwanda Fashion Designs, told The New Times that she fuses fabrics like African print with the modern touch to move with the times.
“Since we are in modern society,” she said, “what I do is to fuse fabrics like African print or cotton with a modern touch to fit society we are in, plus we have to come up with modern designs that will help preserve our culture but move with the modern times we are in.” Speaking at the event, Celestin Ntawirema, the chief executive of Rwanda Cultural Fashion Show, said that although the annual event is yet to be where the organizers wish it to be, it has gradually picked up.
He noted that, compared to the previous editions, this year’s was better and he looked forward to making the event something known across the continent. “Compared to the last events this has been better, the number of people who have attended is bigger compared to those who attended last year and the other years,” said Ntawirema.
“We shall continue working hard to make sure we promote our African cultural designs across the world,” he added.
The show featured entertainment by traditional dancers.
My Names are Patrick Muhire, a fashion designer and artist, I am Rwandan, and I own a fashion company named Inkanda House since 2013. We make a variety of garments to mention casual wear, evening wear for both ladies and gentlemen! I have participated in so many fashion shows and exhibitions all over the world in Paris, Milan, Kampala, Brazzaville, Bujumbura to mention but a few, I have held and dressed beauty competitions to mention Miss Rwanda 2012, Miss UNR, KIST, RTUC, KHI, BUSOGO, Mutara Polytechnic. I did not study fashion at school, but fashion found me, and later on, I took courses to bold my career.
The experience will take place in Rupari's small, boutique clothing design and tailoring shop. Rupari will share her experience with design, fashion, modeling, tailoring, running a boutique design house, and fashion marketing in Rwanda and E. Africa. She'll share some of her sketches, projects she's working on, and samples of her work. She can also provide feedback on some of your work if you bring it with you.
You'll also spend time with the tailors that work on her designs and learn how they bring Rupari's creations to life. If you'd like, you can try your hand at creating a piece to take home. Or, sit back and watch the expert tailors create something for you. Each curious traveler can choose their own fabric and take home a pillowcase, scarf, bow tie, or traditional necktie.
Rupari was born in Burundi and came to Rwanda in 1994. She holds a degree in International Economics from the National University of Rwanda and has worked with NGOs, in public relations, and also in the banking sector. Rupari’s immediate goal is to be successful in the design and production of her clothing lines. She hopes to export her work internationally and eventually open a shop in another country. She’s also passionate about working with other models that wish to pursue modeling as a career. She also hopes to have a larger online presence and increase sales through her website.
Rupari started in the fashion industry as a runway and advert model. She’s worked with designers from East and West Africa, including many Rwandan designers. It was her interest in African fabrics that inspired her to create her first clothing collection. After presenting her first collection in West Africa, she reluctantly returned to her job in the banking sector. She continued to design corporate and special occasion clothes for friends, family, and, of course, herself. As her passion for fashion grew, she started showcasing her work around Africa and in late 2014 Rupari achieved her dream of opening her own boutique.
Karen Uwera is a Rwandan fashion designer born and raised in Kampala Uganda. Her interest in fashion started at an early age and by 10 she had begun to make her own jewelry. This passion grew stronger until she turned it into the fashion business in 2008. By then, she based in Kampala Uganda. She is renowned for her sharp, simple designs with a feminine edge and considerate approach to the wearable corporate and casual design.
In 2010 Karen Uwera relocated to Rwanda but she took her time to properly first understand the fashion industry in Rwanda and the preferences of her potential clients before re-establishing her brand KARSSH Collections in 2015, her showroom and workshop are located at KG 173 Remera, Kisimenti.
Touch Of Rwanda Fashion Designs Ltd was foundered by Shema Charlotte a creative designer. It is based in Rwanda, Kigali, Kacyiru. Her brand had registered in January 2018 and started a month after, now it’s been almost 6 months. The company is growing, with a shop and a workshop. It offers different services as “to be able to buy the ready-to-wear and they are already made by different sizes and different materials.
The company's clients are able to choose the size and colors of their choice. Shema and her company had been offering services in tailoring and clothes to different people both men and women and kids. Shema’s main styles are smart casual, an outfit that can be worn at the office, every day and evening for some occasions. She also designs and does accessories such as bags, bed covers, napkins, pillowcases and some materials to use in home decor.
Born in Rwanda, Fathia Uwase, 32, left for Ghana four years ago with fashion on her mind. There, she studied fashion for a year at the Joyce Ababio School of Creative design. After graduation, she established her own brand called Fathia’s Creations. When she left her home country, the Rwandan fashion scene was still close to non-existent. She could not find the opportunities she needed and quality material to make her clothes.
It was thus her love for beautiful aesthetics and fashion that made her travel abroad. While in Ghana, she realized that the opportunities were plentiful, making it not so challenging to get involved in fashion. What made it challenging for Uwase was to start her own business from scratch like it would have been in any other field.
At least seven foreign countries are participating in this year’s show, slated for September 8 at a yet-to-be-specified venue in Kigali, Rwanda. The runway show will be preceded by a model casting session at the Great Seasons Hotel in Gacuriro on September 4. The casting will be open from 1pm to 6pm. This year marks six years since the Rwanda Cultural Fashion Show was founded in 2013. Organizers have promised a unique runway show featuring designs from different cultures as the Rwanda Cultural Fashion Show returns.
“Rwanda Cultural Fashion Show is a forum for local and international fashion designers to showcase their designs. Our goal is to promote fashion designers and create public awareness of the talent and quality designs in Rwanda,” explained Celestine Ntawirema, the founder. Ntawirema further disclosed that they will be partnering with local modeling agencies to help with the casting of the models. This year, the event has drawn fashion designers and entrepreneurs from Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, Nigeria, Ghana, Japan, the DRC, and hosts Rwanda.
Registration for the casting is already open, and each model is required to part with a registration fee of Rwf3, 000, payable to organizers through Bank of Kigali. To qualify, female hopefuls will need to be at least 1 meter 75 centimeters tall, while their male counterparts need to be at least 1 meter and 80 centimeters tall.
“This year we resolved to meet international casting standards. Normally in Rwanda the way we did castings was not to international standards,” Ntawirema explained, adding that all models who will register for the casting will have a chance to attend the show, even for those that won’t be selected. Organisers have also set aside two days of a fashion exhibition, where the public will be able to shop for various fashion items as a way of supporting the ‘Made in Rwanda’ campaign.