THE ROAD TO LUANAR FASHION WEEK
By: Patience Ngulube Lunda.
No need to argue; we were all born with diverse talents. It all depends on how we exploit it to our advantage. It is that simple!
Meet 28 year old Sandra Nsonga; a Lilongwe-based fashion designer who has not only proved how unique her talent is, but has also shown that Malawi has got unexploited talent that can economically uplift the country.
Going through her Curriculum Vitae, it is plain to admit that Sandra is no ordinary gem, fashion-wise.
Her fashion creativity has seen her being recognized for her exceptional talent even during her freshman year in the fashion industry. It was such awards that marked the genesis of her serious passion in the industry.
“I realized I was a fashion designer in 2013 after winning the Malawi fashion week. Then I was chosen to represent Malawi in Zambia. From that moment, I had more confidence with my designs.” She recalls.
That was not all. She represented her motherland again in South Africa for SAFC (Southern Africa Fashion Conference); a feat she described as “another amazing experience for me since I learnt more about my designing career,” she said.
Having exposed her clothing line on the international market, it is a clearly testimony her designs are a step ahead. She describes her clothing line as exceptional as it represents the African continent.
“My designs are unique because they represent a true reflection of African modern women and men who are classy and stylish” she said.
Sandra is optimistic the maiden Luanar Fashion Week will inspire more Malawian youths to venture into entrepreneurship.
“My expectations are to learn more and help inspire other youngsters out there to becoming young entrepreneurs by utilizing their talents,” she said.
According to Sandra, fashion designing in Malawi can grow if various individuals joined forces to support the industry.
“Stakeholders can promote fashion designing in Malawi by supporting fashion designers financially and with proper material that will enable us to bring out the ideas we have to life.” She suggested.
To her, she singled out revered local fashion goddess, Lily Alfonso as her main influence in the game.
“My idol is Lily Alfonso; she has raised a bar in the local fashion industry by attending numerous international fashion weeks” she said.
Fashion designing after-effects
Through fashion designing, Sandra is now a lady and a half. Through fashion designing, her feet have carried her across oceans where she has networked with various business partners.
And thanks to her clothing line, she is now a major supplier of her clothing line to various local organizations. She is a model to many.
“It has exposed me to high profile personalities and I’m a role models to many a Malawian ladies. Most importantly, I have created jobs to some Malawians, you talk of the tailors and the assistants, all these thanks to my clothing label,” she revealed.
To her, “The major challenge in fashion designing in Malawi is lack of good material that can be used to make other outfits apart from the African print.”
She singled out stretched linen (which is used for making office dresses) as one of the examples.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Location of business: Lilongwe (Area49/ Gulliver)
Academic credentials: Advanced Diploma in Business Management (obtained at Malawi Polytechnic’s Management centre)
Certificate in Tailoring and Designing (Swift Tailoring and Designing School (Blantyre)