We are sticking with Fashion Designer category today to bring you Haranga Afrik Klodz ahead of the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards scheduled for 28 April which we’re proud media partners for. Today we catch up with Sue Mundicha-Katerere, who tells us all about the label which you may recall has graced the female cover of our 2010 Autumn Emancipation Issue.
As we continue to bring you our exclusive interviews with all the nominees, don’t forget to visit the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards website to purchase your tickets for the event at the prestigious The Grange Tower Hill and to view and vote for nominees in fashion and all other categories.
Tell us a little about your brand and its history?
Haranga Afrik Klodz is an African Ethnic Kouture brand that was established in London 2007 by Sue Mundicha-Katerere to create Southern African contemporary ethnic fashion designs. Haranga is Mambokadzi (Queen) in the Zimbabwean Shona language and is a name that symbolises royal elegance. It was created to fill a gap for Southern African fashions which I could not find for a wedding event, therefore I designed and made one for that event and the rest is history.
You have got quite a few fashion lines within the Haranga brand; can you tell us what each of these embodies?
Haranga women exclusive designs are elegant, simple, yet striking and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. The women’s lines include evening, corporate and casual wear. The designs are made for different target markets. The men’s lines are part of the Haranga Recycle and the shirts are designed from recycled western clothes spruced up with an African Ethnic touch. The children’s line as well as ethnic craftwork for home deco is under development. Collections are artistically made using modern ethnic African; ethnic Asian and British fabrics sourced locally and from Africa.
What kind of guy/girl would wear Haranga Afrik creations?
Haranga offers services on fashion to give a timeless look to women and men. The Haranga creations are worn by models for the runway as well as beauty pageants competitions. Artists wear Haranga shirts to connect with their roots to complete the message in their songs. Haranga creations are also worn at special occasions by women and man of all ages and all shapes and sizes. Each garment is individually hand tailored to customer’s specific requirements to ensure it is unique and perfectly fitted.
Where do you draw your inspirations from?
Inspirations come from a variety of places in my atmosphere and my diverse family background and having both my paternal and maternal grand parents come from 3 different continents provides lots of diverse inspirations. The desire to make the woman look dignified and confident inspires some of the designs. The men’s shirts are inspired by desire to make a man look different and confident. The combination of the rich colors, influences, concepts and prints symbolises the African Ethnic roots of the designer.
Who are some of the brand ambassadors?
Haranga collections have been featured in various national and international publications, and I maintain a regular diverse clientele that includes models and beauty pageants some of whom have been very good ambassadors for the Haranga brand. On the other hand the musicians and actors have used the Haranga brand in movies and musical videos and at charity fundraising events. The designer Sue is the brand ambassador for the plus size woman for her signature designs.
And who would you like to see wearing your label?
I would like to see more of the creations being worn in movies such as Tyler Perry’s movies as well as would like to see Michelle Obama wearing a Haranga design; therefore I am making efforts to ensure this happens. I would like to see the Zimbabwe Olympic team wearing the Haranga label.
Where can fans of the brand buy your creations?
Being in the UK has offered Haranga many opportunities and exposure to build the brand. We advertise on our website www.harangaafrik.com as well as various social media and mainly by word of mouth. Haranga has showcased at various fashion shows, charity fundraising events, including featuring in 2 BHF Magazine issues; Sporah Show TV and this media has provided advertising opportunities. Our prices are affordable and our customers are worldwide including Africa; Australia, Canada and USA.
How does it feel being nominated in the fashion category of the ZAAs and what would it mean to win this award?
Haranga was a 2011 Zimbabwe Achievers Awards Nominee under Fashion Designer category, although we did not win, it was good to get such recognition. Being nominated again this year is wonderful opportunity for confidence boost and to further opportunities to grow the brand. The categories, this year are better classified than 2011.
What’s next in 2012 and beyond for Haranga Afrik?
Haranga charting new territories of introducing more western styles to tap into another market. The plan is to show case at Zimbabwe Fashion Week where we were invited for the inaugural event, but could not attend due to other commitments. Plans are to show case at other African fashions shows and London Fashion Week.
And our classic question with a twist: What is FAB about being Zimbabwean?
It is FAB to be Zimbabwean because it makes me to be grounded.
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