Designers hail Protea Hotel Fashion Market

Thabiso Dibeela, Lebo Merafhe, Dihdah, Butterfly, African Wax PrintsBW and Tum Tummy were among a host of designers whose ready to wear items were on display


In an effort to help drive the development of sustainable ecosystems that uplift the fashion industry in Botswana, Protea Hotel successfully hosted The Protea Fashion Market over the weekend.
It follows cancellation of the hotel’s annual fashion show that was brought to a grinding halt by the Coronavirus. Held under strict COVID-19 health protocols, the fashion and food experience saw leading local fashion designers showcase and sell their designs at the hotel free.
“The event was a success because fashion entrepreneurs benefitted from it. They managed to sell clothes and meet future clients,” said Protea Marketing Manager, Botho Mogami.
The Fashion Market featured ready-to-wear samples from designers Thabiso Dibeela, Lebo Merafhe, Dihdah, Butterfly, African Wax PrintsBW and a new children’s fashion brand called Tum Tummy, among others. Keitumetse Moletsane is the proud owner of Tum Tummy, which is a clothing line that uses natural fabrics like cotton, linen and German print (leteisi) that work well with the delicate skin of children.
“This platform has been a boost to our business,” Moletsane said in an interview. “We were able to make sales, take orders as well as arrange networking. We are happy with what we got. Being here means we get to see more people, even though we are on social media. All the customers that came in can put a face to our brand and the network was perfect. It was really worth it.”
Protea Hotel saw its role as helping to provide a marketing platform. “Despite the challenges, we have remained committed to fashion entrepreneurs because we believe the creative industry has an important role to play in local economies and growth of tourism in Botswana,” said Mogami, its marketing manager. “The Fashion Market expands on what we seek to do with the fashion show – to develop local entrepreneurship capacity by bridging the gap between those with experience and those seeking it.”