“It is such a great opportunity to be one of the designers representing Namibia in the Kent State University Museum. I am so honoured to represent my country and region (Kavango) on an international platform,” says Maria Caley. Her’s and
Quin-Leigh Hammond will collections will be showcasing as from next Friday.
A media release by the university says the exhibit draws on designs created in South Africa and Namibia, presenting distinctive and forward-looking work that offers fresh perspectives on style and fashion. The theme of the exhibition is “Fashions of Southern Africa”, initiated by the curator, Sara Hume, an associate professor at the Kent State University Museum.
According to Hume, the featured garments and accessories erase the simple binary between “Western fashion” and “traditional African dress.” “News coverage concerning Africa often focuses on the challenges the continent faces with poverty, disease and war,” says Hume, adding that far less attention is paid to the fact that Africa boasts the fastest growing middle class in the world. “With this increasing spending power, sectors such as the fashion industry have the potential to see enormous growth in the years to come.”
“Fashions of Southern Africa” also includes work by both established and emerging designers contributing to a regional fashion culture distinct from that of Paris, New York or London.
Maria is a cheerful Rundu-born fashion designer who specialises in textile designs and has represented Namibia at numerous international fashion shows with her creative Kavango heritage attires. She says being part of this project is quite a milestone for her.
Quin-Leigh, a local designer of Honey Cassie designs is a young, emerging designer whose aesthetic is minimalistic with clean lines and androgynous shapes. Her sources of inspiration range from music, colours and the fabric she uses. Posting on her Facebook Fanpage she says was super excited to be part of the project.
Apart from locals, South African designers such as Marianne Fassler, Rich Mnisi and Laduma Ngxokolo, as well as footwear.