The much anticipated Masa Square Hotel (MSH) Fashion Show and Mentorship Programme 2018 came to a thrilling finale this past Saturday, 20th October 2018. The show, which was part of the MSH Fashion Mentorship Programme, saw seven seasoned designers and seven up-and-coming fashion designers showcase their couture designs to Gaborone’s fashion elite as well as novices eager to consume the great talent Botswana has to offer.
The Hotel hosted a one-of-a kind international experience that saw the Masa Piazza transformed into a spectacular tech-inspired runway in collaboration (for the second year) with Jan Malan of Umzingeli Productions, the official fashion show producer behind the night’s outstanding set up. Keeping with the theme ‘Fashion in the Digital Age’, creativity and innovation were clear elements in bringing the night together.
“This year’s theme, ‘Fashion in the Digital Age’ is a truly exciting concept which we hope will drive more conversations around today. As a business-first hotel, we are passionate about doing business in the digital age because today’s consumer is exceptionally tech-savvy. How fitting a theme, when considering potential innovation, job creation and diversification and growth of Botswana’s fashion and textile industry and of course the economy,” Hotel General Manager, Greg Soutter.
Soutter said as Masa Square Hotel they realise the impact the fashion show platform has in growing the fashion and textile industry while at the same time empowering Botswana’s youth. “Through our mentorship program, introduced in 2017, we are giving aspiring designers the opportunity to work with, and learn from professional designers.”
Giving a key note address at the prestigious event, Acting Permananet Secretary for The Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Peter Mongwaketse said it was heartwarming to see the youth of Botswana actively taking a stand to weave their own destinies. “The implementation of a more digitally led business structures will bring about new career opportunities and enhance the skills base in our beloved Botswana. This is an exciting time for our youth to take our country to greater heights by seizing the opportunity to showcase their talents and shake things up,” he said. Mongwaketse said the fashion and textile industry is one that is a key player in driving our economy. “The Masa Fashion Show and Mentorship Programme has become an evidently renowned hub for celebrating this important sector of our economy and our youth.”
The hotel said they were once again committed to collaborating with various stakeholders in the Botswana creative industry in order to see the designers showcase their crafts. The aim, they said, is for Botswana, and hopefully even the world, to see and celebrate this talent. The hotel said they were honoured to have partnered with a number of brands who believed in their vision. They include: Ngwao Brand Architects and Audiotech (sound and technical direction); Madison (provision of foot wear); Fine Brands (welcome beverages); MAC Cosmetics (make-up); Hair Essential(Hair); White Label Fragrances (provided fragrance testing on the day); Woolworths (mentee prize worth P30 000); FT Photography; Mokolodi Nature Reserve; Limkokwing University (students participating in the show); Timba Trading (material vouchers worth P750 to all mentees, Kara Kele, Lightbox photo booth, Bona Outdoor Advertising, La Vie en Rose and 3G Mobile.
“Fashion as a phenomenon is something that is very dynamic and in constant change, and especially in the globalized world we live in. it is pleasing to observe how the Botswana fashion industry has managed to successfully play a role in this competitive field both nationally and internationally. As Masa Square Hotel, we will continue to drive innovation and create a platform for our young talents to showcase and continuously grow their talents,” the General Manager said.