Fashion Without Borders Pulls off “The Phygital Experience”

Bank Gaborone’s Mokefane spoke about services off ered to small businesses


Fashion and lifestyle movement, Fashion Without Borders (FWB), has adapted to the new normal and recently presented this year’s fashion extravaganza by staging a series of mini-events themed “The Phygital Experience.” As Botswana’s first major fashion event this year, FWB started with physical and webinar master classes which saw notable figures in the industry unpacking issues related to the industry.

“‘The Phygital Experience’ means we were able to successfully pull off an event that was staged both physically with limited numbers and digitally to reach a wider audience,” said co-founder of FWB, Tebo Bakwena, in an interview. “This was the first experience that forced us to break the event and incorporate other speakers outside the country digitally because of the COVID-19 restrictions.”

This year’s show focused on the business aspects of the fashion industry, including production of quality products and cultural exchanges among African countries. South Africa’s celebrated fashion designer and entrepreneur, Thula Sindi, took to the podium to share his views on the future of the fashion industry in Africa during and post-Covid-19.

The creative behind local brand iZaura, Mothusi Lesolle, also shared the business of fashion in Botswana and the impact of Covid-19 on the local fashion scene.

More speakers included Sibongile Mazibuko, who is an expert in hair care. The Vice President of Corporate Affairs at De Beers Group, Pat Dambe, shared her wealth of knowledge on her experience and what it takes to run a powerhouse company. Photographer Peter Yuri spoke on personal branding, business etiquette, and brand association while Khalala Mokefane, Head of Wholesale Banking for Bank Gaborone, spoke about services that can be offered to assist small businesses.

Said Bakwena: “All these topics were relevant for industry stakeholders under the current climate of COVID-19. They were guidelines that could help them navigate through and stay afloat amid the pandemic. Going forward, we want to normalise hosting webinars to push knowledge and share skills.”

On the last day of the showcase, FWB hosted a fashion show at Molapo Piazza featuring works of fashion designers Connie Senyatso of Diconzo Designs, Kagiso Lesotlho of Donlu Amore, Trudy Bakwena of Trudy Vidic, Kanyo Molale of Kanyo, Keletso Lobelo of Millinery Miller, among others. Bank Gaborone, The Native Group, the Ministry of Youth, Sports Empowerment and Culture, Le Afrika, The Voice Newspaper, YaronaFM, BLM Natural, and Mr Price brought on the virtual and physical master classes.