DESIGN fashion

Naomi Campbell to work with local fashion industry

Renowned model, actress, and fashion icon Naomi Campbell has pledged to work with the local fashion industry in an aim to get them onto a globally competitive platform.

The New Times’ Collins Mwai interviewed Campbell who was in the country for the 15th Gorilla naming ceremony, Kwita Izina where she was one of the namers of the 25 baby gorillas. Her intervention would among other things see her use her years of experience to enable local designers to penetrate the international market.

She held her initial meeting with a group of designers on Saturday evening. Among brands present included Moshions, Inzuki, Haute Baso, and SM of Sonia Mugabo among others.

Below are excerpts:

With years of experience and insight working with fashion brands across the world, what would you say are the prerequisites of the emerging fashion industry, relevant locally and globally competitive?

That is why I am meeting local designers. I want to know what their strengths are and what I can do to push it forward and bring Rwandans to where they should be. I want to help them get the platform and recognition they should.

In your intervention, what are the opportunities for new entrants in an industry that has long been dominated by a few brands from the developed world? What can local designers do to be relevant enough to seize such opportunities?

There is an opportunity, fashion is not to be discriminated, fashion turns around and it evolves. Right now is our time and African designers need to get their platform too and this is what I would like to make sure happens. This is what I should push and get them where they should be.

Any chances that there will be interventions in the form of close collaboration with stakeholders in the industry from across the world?

We are going to let people know that they need to create opportunities because it has to evolve. They need to share and teach skills so that people can keep learning. Gucci Group, for instance, has already come in and said that they want to give scholarships across the continent.

This is my first time in Rwanda but it’s clear for me what I need to do.

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