The city’s prestigious Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards (RoilBAA) that are in their 4th edition this year, are upon us as they are slated for 28 November.
Bulawayo’s “who is who” will be dressed to the nines, with some buying expensive tuxedos and clothes for the awards’ red carpet fair.
As many artistes, business people and fans are stressed on what to wear for the awards, it has to be understood first on who must or should own the red carpet.
Some have pulled well on the red carpet with their fashion sense but a majority has failed dismally to impress because “they do not consult fashion designers on what to wear to a certain event” according to celebrated award-winning fashion designer Thembani Mubochwa.
He continues: “I am privileged to have dressed so many artistes on red carpet events here (in Zimbabwe) and South Africa, be it Durban July or National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA), you can name it. What I have discovered in all these events is that people don’t have knowledge on who does the red carpet belong to,” said Mubochwa.
As local fashion designers are growing in numbers with some including Leverange, Sanah Designs and Sozinio nominated for Outstanding Fashion Designer/House at the RoilBAA, Mubochwa revealed that it’s time they showcase to the world who they are because the red carpet belongs to them.
“Awards are a very crucial phase in a designer’s career because it either shapes you or leads to your downfall. Red carpet events belong to the designers in the sense that they have to showcase or launch their designs by dressing these celebrities.
“In that manner, the designs find it easy to penetrate the market that is if they catch the public’s eye and the designer’s choice of the ambassador (celebrity) commands a massive audience,” said Mubochwa who has showcased his designs in Paris, France.
It’s never easy for a designer to come up with the exact design that is in the mind of the celebrity but a common ground has to be reached between the celebrity and the designer.
Mubochwa, who dresses Jah Prayzah locally, revealed that there must be a balance between both the celebrity and the designer’s interests.
“When it comes to red carpet events, celebrities often come up with their own designs, and obviously taken from the internet. When these are presented to me, I keep what the person wants but I will also add my sense and touch on the design.
“For example, when I dress Jah Prayzah for an event, I make sure that my brand and his brand combine on that piece so that what we both represent breathes on the final product,” said Mubochwa.
In 2018, Jah Prayzah and his wife Rufaro hogged the limelight at the NAMAs with a brown fur matching outfit designed by Mubochwa. Soon after the awards, the outfit got a massive backlash as social media termed it controversial.
The criticism of the outfit almost broke Mubochwa down, such that he abandoned social media for some time and found other hobbies to keep busy.
“Criticism is a friend to fashion designing. If your designs don’t draw much critics then you have to consider redesigning. That (Jah Prayzah and wife) outfit almost broke me down because of the bad critiques I suffered in the hands of Zimbabweans and a designer must brace for that.
“I think when I came up with that design, I ignored the fact that as Zimbabwe we are backward in terms of fashion because if it was dressed by Beyonce or Jay Z people would understand. That design was sending a lot of messages that night and many did not understand,” said Mubochwa.