Winter is slowly creeping up and many of us have started unpacking our warm clothes to brace the cold air. Young designer Wilhelmina Kalapungame Iimene has gone a step ahead and is offering beautiful crochet pieces to add to our winter “warmies”. Iimene’s Kala Crochet items are must-haves. It is beautifully handcrafted yarn made into a textured fabric using a hooked needle. Her winter line is called Younique, which is inspired by her long-term need for a big aesthetically pleasing portrait of herself for her studio. “Me, being me - a lover of crochet - I thought why not just make a crochet portrait. It was absurd (thought) at first, a lot of work too, but I knew it had to be done. After the plain portrait, I just decided to incorporate it into a sweater as winter approaches. Overall, the look is inspired by the growth I aspire to reach in my business. I do not want to solely be doing mediocre (although still very pretty) clothing products such as bikinis and dresses, but a lot more than that because I believe there is a lot more to crocheting than just that.” She took up crocheting in 2019 out of boredom. “I was bored out of my mind and remembered my primary school days and how we were taught crocheting by volunteers from America. I googled and surfed YouTube how to do it (cause I had forgotten) and viola, I still had it! Since then, every day was practice and it’s true that it makes perfect.” Iimene says the Namibian fashion scene is beautiful as some people now freely portray their styles, talents and skills with clothes, shoes and accessories. “I believe fashion has many meanings. Every designer has a meaning behind the beautiful garments they make and define it in their own way. That’s one unique thing about every designer in the fashion industry.” There are now many emerging clothing lines, and thus far, the tough and demanding fashion world has been great to her. “One may think it’s creating pressure for those already in it, but I keep a straight head because I’m certain no one else can do it like me, and that’s my power. I just want to stand out, kill the breeze in style.” Her second-place finish at last year’s Windhoek Fashion Week Pitch Night helped her business tremendously and Iimene encouraged other upcoming designers not to be afraid of hard work.
“Start/work on something you’ve always wanted. I know it’s a whole lot harder than just picking up a pen to write, a hook to crochet or a mic to sing, but that’s a journey you should be prepared to go through because it is what you want after all.”
Anyone interested in a crochet portrait for their walls, pillowcase or sweater can reach her on @_.kala.pungame._on Instagram