Zim fashion designer dominates SA industry

BULAWAYO fashion designer Oscar Ncube is proving his prowess as he continues to make his mark in South Africa, occasionally featuring on satellite broadcaster DSTV’s Fox Life programmes.

The South Africa-based Ncube told NewsDay Life &Style yesterday that having control over what he wore had motivated him to venture into fashion and designing as a teenager.

“I am a creative, currently expressing my craft within the medium of fashion straight out of secondary school. I was once part of a partnership deal with Vintage Zionist for four years and I am a sole owner of my own brand Drybone Co,” he said.

“I am not formally trained, I have an art and technical drawing background and I have used that skill set to help me navigate fashion. In the beginning, I did a lot of personal orders, weddings and other occasional outfits before I decided to produce designs according to a set direction that would define my brand.”

Ncube said showcasing his designs at the South African Fashion week shows had opened continental and international exposure for him.

“I showcase my designs at South African Fashion week and this platform has given me the opportunity to have a reality television show on DStv Fox Life, where the creative process is documented to lead up to the fashion show platform,” he said.

The designer said there was need to improve the local fashion industry through regular exposure of fashion students to western fashion institutions.

“The first step that could be implemented towards improvement of the fashion industry in Zimbabwe is to expose fashion students to South African or western fashion educational institutions. If kids are trained by the best in the world that will filter not only into their design work, but also the understanding of retail, merchandising, brand building among others,” he said.

Ncube is among some of the outstanding designers, despite the setbacks associated with being on foreign land.

“Working in a foreign land is always difficult in some ways, but it can also be used to one’s advantage. I am different, not local so that is a unique trait as success in fashion comes when a brand can propose something different. So I use it to my aid,” he said.

“If you are afraid, then this is not the industry for you. If you are fearless then you have a chance at success. Within your fearlessness have a point of view that makes you different from the rest as it’s not about being the best, it’s about being unique.”