Uganda International Fashion Week Bounces Back


By Solomon Muleyi

Santa Anzo’s brand, Arapapa is a power force in the fashion Industry. She, however, had gone International and hadn’t registered much acclaim in the recent years.

She bounced back today, with the launch of the Ugandan International Fashion Week. Described as one of the most prestigious fashion events on the nation’s annual social calendar, this year’s event will open at a leading tourism destination on 2nd August and climax at Kampala Serena Hotel and Conference Center from 3rd to 4th August 2019.

Hosted by ARAPAPA by Santa Anzo in proud association with The Department of Arts and Culture, The Republic of South Africa, this will be UIFW’s sixth edition.

The event will focus on emphasizing The Business Behind Fashion, to magnify the potential of fashion as a vehicle for swift economic development in Africa.

UTB’s head of Marketing, Claire Mugabi (L), Santa Anzo and representatives from sponsors Plascon during the Press Conference at Kampala Serena Hotel. Photo by Solomon Muleyi

“Fashion, like Petroleum and Gas, Communication and Tourism, Agriculture and Transport, Finance and banking is a multi-billion industry awaiting to be exploited. Uganda, the time is now!” said Santa Anzo, MD and Chief Fashion Designer, Arapapa.

Away from the runway showcases, the three-day event will include highly interactive seminars, discussion panels, knowledge-sharing, mentorship and master class sessions. It will climax with grand showcase on the final day, featuring some of Africa’s finest designers including four South Africans and our home-grown talent; Fatumah Asha, Stella Atal, Abbas Kai, Paula Butagira and Arapapa by Santa Anzo.

Founded in 2003, UIFW has inspired, nurtured and developed the local fashion industry into a vibrant sector, recognized by the business sector, academia, tourism sector, government and diplomatic missions.

UIFW aims at encouraging the adoption of fashion as a career capable of absorbing the unemployed in Africa, especially youths and women.  

“UIFW is at the forefront of causing socio-economic change in Uganda and by extension Africa, by creating activations of partnerships that promote the fashion, garments and textile industry,” Santa says.

The event also promotes and contributes to the promotion of tourism through fashion. To this effect Santa today has officially activated her latest innovation FASHION Tourism. UIFW encourages and promotes the preservation of culture. It is also a platform for designers to showcase their unique expressions and designs to the fashion market.

Drawing designers from around the continent, UIFW also gives designers the opportunity for cross-country exchange of fashion entrepreneurship ideas and concepts.

UIFW 2019 will be held in conjunction with Kansai Plascon, the leading paints brand in the country and Uganda Tourism Board.

Plascon will be launching their 2019 Colour Forecast at the event and display the connectivity between fashion and the interior design industry.

“As a leading paint brand, we want to give our full support by providing colour inspiration during UIFW 2019 through our Colour Forecast which displays an endless combination of colour stories that exhibit a mix of shades that create the feeling of freedom in both interior design and fashion platforms” Koni Lungi, Kansai Plascon’s Regional Manager explained.

“Tourism is no longer about people coming to see wild animals. They want to experience the culture, the cuisine and the fashion. We are glad UIFW is taking a lead in fashion tourism,” UTB’s Marketing Manager Clare Mugabi said.


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