By Desire Elizaberth Mtawali
As Malawi’s fashion industry is on the peak, with the fast growing number of new designers joining the trend, Malawi’s fashion sensation Roy View Banda of RVD, and Tupochele Elsie Chilonda of Gamuchirai classics, highlights some of the biggest challenges the industry is facing.
Roy View out laid a number of problems on the fashion and designing scene in the country, that are hindering development of the industry.
“so many problems in this industry but the bigger problem that every designer can be quick to share is the lack of quality materials. This makes it hard for us to compete internationally and makes us fall short when it comes to customer satisfaction. And the other problem is lack of financial support , to keep the business surviving , another problem is pricing, it is hard to operate this business in an economy struggling country like Malawi, customers always complain of your prices regardless of what you are putting in for production.” Said the Designer.
Roy view, who also carried Malawi’s flag, after being crowned the winner of the American Embassy fashion competition in 2017, which is also one of his biggest career highlight. He is also one of the official designers for well-known names in the entertainment industry, Piksy and Blackjak. He has also made clothes for the group, ‘Black missionaries’ for their latest videos.
Roy View suggested a solution to some of the challenges, saying that there is a need for Malawian designers to form an association, in the process a lot of things can change.
Tupochele Elsie Chilonda of Gamuchirai classics, also shared the hustle behind the scenes of the game, saying…
“we are facing a lot of challenges, because at the moment the market is small and there are more designers, as a result there is a lot of competition in this field and we end up selling high quality products for less, which is not good for the business.” …said Chilonda
The designer also added that, the only time she gets to make big sales, is when she has sold her products to international clients.
From her humble beginning Chilonda wants to take her Brand global, she currently works with Malawi’s Music Star Bucci.