It was a special moment for Botswana fashion industry last weekend when one of their own fashion designer, Botho Chalegbwa showcased in Paris, Salle Wagram at the 2nd annual Africa Fashion Reception. Botho of Botocy brand, showcased her Summer Spring 2014-2015, which was characterized by the traditional German print fabric fused with faux par leather and chiffon, combining an edgy Goth look with a bit of feminism for a collection called ‘San in the City’.
Africa Fashion Reception was founded 2 years ago with the aim of promoting African fashion by giving the designers platforms that otherwise would not be easy to penetrate. one of the objectives being to create a level playing ground for African designers in the global market and to build bridges by creating free trade and partnerships among fashion practitioners across the continent.
Twenty-four artists from Africa showcased at the event from countries like Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria, Togo, Cameroon, and from Southern Africa Malawi and South Africa’. This resulted in a great variety in styles, textiles, from both western Africa and Southern Africa whose influences are unique to one another. Botho Chalegbwa was the only designer from Botswana and shared with Time Out that her collection was well received in France, “I got very great feedback in France from the organisers including the media, who were very impressed with my work. One organiser commented that I would do very well in the western market as my designs have a level of commercial appeal that other designers particularly from western Africa tended to lack,” she said, adding that this has given her confidence in her brand as well as teaching her the importance patience to refine works.
Chalegbwa showcased earlier in July in Nigeria and will in January 2015 showcase in Montreal, Canada. Model Kaone Monamodi also made a mark in the European fashion capital walking the ramp for some designers including Botocy.