A total of 71 models will be showcasing garments during the 4th edition of the Katutura Fashion Week runway show on 25 and 26 November at the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre.
Organisers received applications from over 550 models who heeded the casting call for the fashion extravaganza that will this year be staged under the theme ‘Where culture meets fashion and local tourism’.
Having used around 58 models in earlier editions, founder and director of KFW Dennis Hendricks said they felt strongly about giving more models a chance.
“We have to give the young men and women opportunities, because when will their first time be? Also, we do not allow designers to bring their own models because it is unfair towards those who made an effort to come for auditions,” said Hendricks, while emphasising that they use different models every year as their contribution towards building the local fashion industry.
The large number of models further allows for more diversity in age, looks, body types, abilities as well as cultures, which speaks strongly to both the KFW’s theme for this year and the overall motto of ‘Uniting cultures through fashion, bringing fashion to the people’.
Like previous editions, the event will use children and plus-size persons to display the garments as well as models with disabilities.
A model and designer himself, Hendricks said inclusivity is important for the team, adding that the use of international models is a way to grow the KFW brand beyond the Namibian borders.
“We continue to create awareness that we exist and provide a platform to showcase the talented designers we have in Namibia.”
In terms of designers, he said KFW maintains the ethos of giving everyone a chance and this year will showcase garments from 44 designers, with the host of them being Namibian, two from Zambia and one each from Angola, Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
“We have more designers this year and emphasis is placed on sharing our cultural diversity in Africa which is aimed at growth.”
Hendricks noted that KFW is a “door opener” for underground designers; those with qualifications and those who are self-taught, and it has been the case since the event started.
College of the Arts first- and second-year fashion students will exhibit on Friday in slot 1 and slot 2 and the established designers in two slots on Saturday.
Apart from providing platforms for models and designers to grow their portfolios, the event also creates exposure for make-up artists, photographers and others in the creative space.
He bragged a little about how KFW will be covered by the Magazine Le Afrique Style Brazil, the first online magazine in Brazil with exclusive and unpublished content from the African continent. He was featured in the magazine earlier this month.
A panel discussion titled ‘Let’s talk Fashion’ will be broadcast on 30 November on Radio Energy, which is one of their long-term partners, a relationship Hendricks cherishes.
In terms of other sponsors, he extended gratitude to Rocket Media, Tate Village, Plaza Casino, Sombeyo Property and others for their assistance in kind.
He admitted that more financial backing will be welcomed as they have been growing the event over the years with their own meagre resources.
“We have survival instincts,” he quipped.
Specials are still running on cheaper tickets: Children - N$50, Students - N$100, general access – N$150 and front row seats – N$ 250. It will cost more at the door.
Tickets are available at Rocket Media near the ECN building.