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Boons and banes of being in the fashion industry

2020-11-13  Paheja Siririka

Boons and banes of being in the fashion industry
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If there is an absence of designers at fashion shows, there wouldn’t be trends to follow and without models, there wouldn’t be anyone to wear the designed pieces but with these two critically essential members of the fashion industry, one still probes: Why are they in an industry whose future looks bleak and sometimes not so promising.

Entertainment Now! engaged with models Leena Shipwata, Djodjo Postiga and fashion designer Quin-Leigh Hammond of Honey Cassie Designs to find out what it takes to be in the industry, the end goals and advice they have to those who would like to join them.
Shipwata, who has been a model for six years said modelling is not as easy as it looks and to those who are interested, she said they should go for it, if the passion, commitment and dedication is there.

“You need to put in work into your portfolio, your looks, and walks. Because you don’t have a normal eight to five hours, you have to work odd hours, you need to get used to all of these things. It is a different world, you will, with no doubt bump into people who would want to break you and your career but go for it, especially if it is a passion,” stated and insisted Shipwata.
Postiga said working hard, especially in the Namibian modelling arena is all any aspiring model can do. “Look for opportunities, don’t be idle at home expecting gigs to come to you. Things won’t come to you, the industry is very small and still developing, put yourself out there,” mentioned Postiga.

Dreams and aspirations
Shipwata established a modelling training programme and she is keen and ready to pass the torch or ray of light to Namibians who are interested in the profession and hopes this continues to be a bigger platform for models to master their craft.
Postiga, having had a passion for modelling and only being in the industry for two years said hard work is everything.
“I always watch this fashion TV shows, I follow a lot of models because I want to participate in international fashion shows, I want to be on billboards. Right now, we are paying and working hard for that,” shared Postiga.
Hammond said the end goal is always to create and have a brand that lasts. “I don’t want to be a brand that is here today and gone the following day, even if I am no more one day, I would still want it to be there and that’s what I am pushing for,” believed Hammond.
 Hammond said there is no diverse or bigger range of fabrics and that hampers the productivity of a designer and the clientele is an issue. “There is a sense of lack of trust. It is like the clients do not trust us and sometimes they don’t trust us without designs, people come with these ideas and expect you to make them and that is not how it work,” stated Hammond.
She added: “I don’t think people understand that a designer is a creative person, we are not a seamstress or we don’t even have to make the clothes but in Namibia, it is like mandatory for you to make the clothes that you designed. You get people who just sit and sketch their pieces and give to someone else to make, that’s what a designer is and does.”

Shipwata and Postiga both agreed that the biggest challenge in the modelling industry, especially in Namibia is the opportunities. “We don’t have a variety of events and there aren’t too many things to look forward to. The MTC Windhoek Fashion Week is the biggest event, I love the initiative and that they continue with it. Corporates are not backing models enough and those who do use models don’t want to pay what they deserve sometimes,” they shared.

The MTC Windhoek Fashion Week happening from 1 to 6 December 2020 is one platform which for the fifth time brings together different industry-related individuals such as; fashion designers, local and international brands, models, show producers, make-up artists, media, stylists, jewellery crafters and many fashion enthusiasts under one roof or the open skies. An event not to be missed.
Because of the lack of activities in the modelling scene in the country, Shipwata launched a model training programme. “Modeling is like any other job, you have to go and look for work but honestly if there were more opportunities, we would grow as an industry, if corporate was backing us up more as well, I think we would grow, that’s why I am giving a shout out to MTC for endorsing the Windhoek Fashion Week,” said Shipwata.

The Namibian fashion industry, according to the trio would flourish, produce great work if it had proper backing and more people to invest in models. 
They said: “When one model or designer makes it, it becomes a chain and people start helping each other out. If more Namibian models are scouted out there, people from outside will come here to scout for Namibian models and designers.”

2020-11-13  Paheja Siririka

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