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By Kalungi Kabuye

Five Uganda designers participated in the 2021 Swahili Fashion Week (SFW) that took place over the weekend in Dar es Salaam. It is the first time in over two years that Uganda designers have been involved in a major fashion event, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was a good feeling to participate in a major fashion event again, after so long,” said designer Alice Atuheire, who showcased 12 outfits under the brand name Mshona. “It was really exciting – the backstage rush, the last-minute activity, the madness and chaos. The beauty of it being part of it, it was great to be a part of it again.”

The SFW took place over three days, Friday to Sunday, and featured 19 international designers (including Ugandans), and over 30 designers from host country Tanzania, which was celebrating 60 years of independence for the mainland.

Other Ugandan designers that participated were Isaq Luzige (SixFit Unltd Wear), Priscilla Busingye (PriscieB), Kiyimba Joshua Patrick (Jonjo Fashion Factory) and Mukasa Frank Sekanyo (Sir Pinto’s Design).

Kiyimba Joshua Patrick at the Swahili Fashion Week 2021. Courtesy photos
Isaq Luzige at the Swahili Fashion Week 2021
Priscilla Busingye
Outfit by Atuheire 
Outfit by Isaq Luzige

“I’ve taken part in several Ugandan fashion shows, including the Kampala Fashion Week, so this was like another step forward for me,” Atuheire said. “Next I want to do the Nigerian Fashion Week, the Cape Town Fashion Week and hopefully go to Europe too.”

According to Atuheire, the shows were not very different from the ones in Uganda, although she thought Ugandan models hold the edge in professionalism and general standards of modelling.

Because of the lockdown and ban on entertainment events, no fashion shows have been held in Kampala for two years, so Ugandan designers have had to go abroad to look for exposure. But with the planned opening up of the economy in the New Year, fashion could again shine in Uganda.






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