Kudakwashe Chihungwa, known by many as “Kuda Seven” is a 29 year old fashion designer and the founder of Eminent Apparel, a unique yet exquisite couture brand that produces various kinds of clothing materials inspired by local and exotic trends. Kuda recently showcased his designs at the Ghana’s premier “Accra Fashion Week”. In this exclusive interview with Exposé Magazine, he shares a little bit about the experience and his fashion career in general. This is what he had to say:
Who is Kuda Seven? Give us a brief background of yourself.
Kuda Seven is a brand that has mastered the construction of bespoke and ready to wear clothing. He started his fashion journey right after A’level, through the gift of a sewing machine handed down from his sister. From then on, he became an apprentice of the trade by learning informally from seniors in the industry. From 2009, the brand grew beyond one person. More machinery was acquired and more staff were recruited. To date, we are grateful of the company that serves people from all over the world and that still holds its elementary values of quality, excellence and timely service.
How did the fashion journey start?
From being the sixth in a family of seven, I rarely ever had new clothing. I had to make do with hand me downs which never fit me to my taste being a person of short statue (lol). Given my need to look good and my status quo at the time, I found myself with a needle and thread in hand, resizing everything to my size, from jackets to jeans. Slowly I started to receive compliments on my resized hand-me-downs.
Have you always wanted to be a fashion designer?
Not really. I studied civil engineering in college. However, I’m engineering clothes now.
How did it feel showcasing your designs at the Accra Fashion Week?
I felt like shouting, “Mama I made it”. I was inspired and humbled to a great deal. I want to showcase more in and around Africa.
What did you learn from the whole experience?
I learnt the benefits of good time keeping. Also, the importance of having high value acquaintances that can make your brand sell on a different scale.
Describe your best-selling piece so far.
My best-selling piece was an elegant white ball gown wedding dress.
What’s your favorite fabric to work on?
Do you have a strong support system? Who is your biggest fan?
Yes, my family and team KudaSeven who work tirelessly to satisfy our customers. Shout out to Nyasha, Rosemary, Owen, Rooney, and Joyce. My biggest fan is my friend Tinashe Goredema who has supported the brand since day one.
Is there any international designer you look up to? If so, who?
I look up to my late Mother, I find inspiration in her designs. She might have not crossed borders but she is international in my heart.
Your biggest achievement yet?
Stocking with Edgars, and having a rack to my name.
What is your take on the fashion industry in Zimbabwe?
There is much potential in garment construction, fabric weaving, leather tanning and the actual marketing of finished clothing.
What are your career related dreams?
Having a well equipped clothing factory that produces high quality products for local and international market.
If you weren’t doing what you are doing now, what would you be career wise?
I would be a farmer.
Your advice to young designers?
Fashion is practical and not theoretical; hence you have to practice to perfect the art.
For more pictures of Kuda’s showcase at the Accra Fashion Week 2017, visit http://www.accrafashionweek.org/kuda-seven-zimbabwe-accra-fashion-week-sh17/
Photo Credits: @yemohphotography
#AFWk #SH17 #AccraFashionWeek