Arts & Leisure

Fashion powerhouses join forces

Chris Theko

Two of Lesotho’s largest brands, Lesotho Fashion Week and Sothokids Culture Agency have joined forces on the launch of a brand new campaign called “Kopano ke Matla”.

Through this campaign, the two powerhouses want to show models and fashion designers in Lesotho that if they want to go faster, they must go alone; however, if they want to go further, they must go together.

Following the eruption of the Covid-19 pandemic, the fashion industry was one of the worst-hit sectors whose recovery has become one of the slowest. Majority of the country’s local fashion designers either had to permanently shut down their businesses or if they continued operating, they were unable to make any income.

According to a statement released this week by the Lesotho Fashion Week, the fashion industry in Lesotho is one of the worst affected groups in terms of job losses and falling income.

“Those worst affected are youth between the ages of 21 – 34 and mostly female. Just as the effects of the pandemic were not evenly distributed, the discovery will not be evenly distributed. In order to revitalize the Lesotho fashion industry post the Covid-19 pandemic, Lesotho Fashion Week is collaborating on a campaign titled “Kopano Ke Matla”, to talk about the importance of collaborations as a powerful tool towards growing the Lesotho fashion industry post the pandemic.

“Our dream is to develop and grow Lesotho’s fashion and modeling industry. And in order to attain this dream, we, as young people, need to rely on ourselves to do so. There is so much work to do, and we cannot do it alone. We need to rethink how we work and realize that there is power in unity,” the statement said.

It goes further to point to the anomaly which as a result of the education system in the country, most young people go to school with the hope that upon completion of their studies, government would be providing jobs for them. The habit usually extends even unto those in the entrepreneurship arena who put themselves in a precarious position by habitually waiting for Government to fund their projects or to make things better.

“We want to remind the youth that relying on Government funding is not the solution to our problems. We are the solution. We need to come together and contribute our individual expertise to grow the fashion industry,” says the Lesotho Fashion Week.

Corroborating the news, Founder and Director of the Sotho Kids Agency Makhebe Seatlana told this publication that the partnership came as a result of the kind of quality they, as Sotho Kids deliver which is beyond the ordinary.

“Lesotho Fashion Week approached us (Sotho Kids) because they were looking for an unconventional modeling agency in Lesotho whose mission is to challenge Eurocentric and size-specific ideals of beauty and they were looking for an agency that is inclusive and accepts different types and shapes, height and disability. So they found all that in Sotho Kids,” Seatlana said.

He went on to indicate that the two brands will be working together operationally on a number of projects for the next few months.  

“The two brands will be working together to host some six events in 2022 which include the Unscripted Fashion Experience (The winter affair), the Lesotho Fashion Week Spring Summer 22 which will feature the Wool and Mohair Spring Summer 22,” he said.

He went to indicate that the Other events the two will be working together on include Natural Fibre Wearable Art Spring Summer 22, Lesotho Fashion Awards, Lesotho Fashion Week Autumn Winter 23 featuring Wool & mohair Autumn Winter 23.

All these events are expected to collectively create 1000 jobs in the fashion industry by 2022.

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