RETAIL Clothing giant Edgars Stores says it will continue investing in local designer talent development as part of efforts to impart skills and empower Zimbabweans.
Edgars celebrates decades of clothing in Zimbabwe through giving an opportunity for the local industry in the clothing retail sector to continue operating.
Edgars group marketing executive, Rumbie Dzimba, said this year the firm marks the 2nd edition of the “Edgars Zimbabwe Local Designers’ Initiative”, which was launched in March 2016 as a talent-seeking and development programme for local clothing and accessory designers.
“The promotion is open to designers residing in Zimbabwe or of Zimbabwean nationality residing in other countries, who will gain skills that will be invaluable to their careers, from being groomed in the artistry of garment construction, all the way through to learning how to market and sell their products,” she said.
With each edition, Dzimba said, clothing designers are selected out of the competition entries. Adjudicators then select the top three and award them with cash prizes and most importantly, an opportunity to develop their skills further at “our manufacturing factory in Bulawayo – Carousel”.
She said the three clothing designers undergo an internship programme for three months at Carousel, where they go through all processes from pattern making to producing a final garment. “They are given access to materials, trims, machinery and direction from skilled designers and garment makers at our factory.
“After the internship programme is concluded, we expect each designer to produce a range that will be sold in three Edgars stores in Zimbabwe in summer,” said Dzimba.
In 2016, Sekai Sandamu, Heather Madlabuta and Kuda Chihungwa emerged the top designers and their brands were launched and sold in-store with phenomenal reviews from customers. “This year we unveil our new winners, Salome Jere, Tawana Nyamupingidza and Thandiwe Mguquka who have just commenced their programme at Carousel clothing factory in Bulawayo.
“We wish them all the best as they go through this up-skilling and life changing course, and look forward to sharing their brands with you in summer 2017,” said Dzimba.
She said Edgars believes it has a mandate to develop local design talent.
“Edgars is also heavily involved with fashion bloggers, and we give them a platform to reach out to the nation by hosting weekly articles on a sponsored fashion page as well as post their blogs on our web platforms.
“We are investing in local talent because that is what we believe will re-build the clothing and fashion industry in this country. There is a lot of skill and raw talent out there and we are excited to be part of the initiative to bring that out and showcase these capabilities to the nation. For us, it’s a celebration of who we are as Zimbabweans. We are and forever will be Edgars,” Dzimba added.