Support Young Designers, Says Hendrina Shikalepo

STARTED in 2013 by visionary fashion designer Hendrina Shikalepo aka Leni C, the Young Designer Fashion Show is heading to its sixth season and promises to be bigger and better than before.

“When the show started, we wanted to create a platform to help and support young up-and-coming designers,” says Hendrina during an interview with The Namibian. The event, which is usually staged twice a year is not for established designers but rather for those who have recently graduated and are only starting to craft a place for themselves in the sometimes brutal fashion industry. “There are a lot of designers in Namibia but it’s difficult for them to shine,” says Hendrina who took it upon herself to create a platform to give these young designers exposure.

With various setbacks hampering the growth of these young designers, Hendrina says that pricing and financial support are the biggest challenges.

“Namibian designers are forced to sell at lower prices because they are desperate to sell. We therefore need to educate our people on the importance of accepting the prices set out by designers,” she says. She is however optimistic that fashion designers are receiving more and more support from the public and that young designers have hope in the industry.

Although there isn’t a monetary prize for the winner of these fashion shows, Hendrina emphasises that the exposure and an opportunity to showcase are equally lucrative. “It’s not all about getting a prize as we are still growing. I always tell the designers, if you want to make money, sell your tickets.”

Adding a twist to what has become a standard event on Namibia’s fashion scene, the event will see the inclusion of plus sized models as well as children’s fashion.

The next Young Designer Fashion Show will take place on 1 August with times and the venue still to be announced. A panel of judges will be selected to assist in choosing the best designers and models at the event.

Source : The Namibian