RCFS is a forum for local and international fashion designers to showcase their designs; this event is unique by featuring designs from a variety of cultures. It is organized and managed by IRIS PRO-FILMS 1000 HILLS which is a film and photography company that also specializes in event management and representation of actors and models.
Rwanda Development Board – RDB has today signed an agreement with Pink Mango C&D for the establishment of a modern garment factory in Kigali Special Economic zone that will produce garments for both the domestic and export market.
Pink Mango C&D is expected to provide 7,500 jobs to Rwandans by the fifth year and cumulative export earnings of US$20 million over the next five years.
Pink Mango C&D is also expected to build capacity and skills transfer to 500 workers of local garment cooperatives who will also benefit from some of their supply contracts through an outsourcing model.
Speaking after the signing, RDB Deputy Chief Executive Officer & Chief Operating Officer Emmanuel Hategeka said the investment of Pink Mango C&D will upskill Rwandans giving them access to productive jobs and hence ensuring a better standard of living.
He said the investment will not only enable us to increase our exports but also reduce imports of clothing.
“We have been using fiscal measures to progressively discourage the importation of second-hand clothes because it was hurting the growth of the domestic textile and garment industry. Therefore, we are attaining a double objective by signing this deal,” Hategeka added.
“Pink Mango C&D establishment will support the build up of a garment industry ecosystem attracting other players in dyeing, knitting and weaving as well as accessories suppliers to open up shop in Rwanda hence it is indeed an exciting addition to this growing industry,” he noted.
Gordon Gu, the Director of Pink Mango C&D Garments said, “I am very appreciative of RDB’s investor facilitation and the vision to develop the country and we want to be a part of it. We are glad this business makes economic sense for the country and we will ensure that Rwandans work in good conditions.”
Ms Maryse Gallagher, business partner with Gordon Gu in Pink Mango C&D said, “This is an exciting day to see the conclusion of this investment deal in Rwanda and I thank the Government for the enabling environment and incentives that will make our products competitive in the global market.”
Witt-Gruppe, part of the Otto group, a leading specialist chain in fashion and garments retail trade in Europe, will source products from the new factory.
Jacques Bathiat, the Witt-Gruppe Commercial and Operations Director said that, “One of the main concerns of our group is the conditions in which the products are manufactured, which includes the treatment of workers. I am very impressed with the way Pink Mango C&D treat their workers and how they are going to operate here.”
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.