KwaZulu-Natal fashion designer and owner of fashion brand Sluu, Ms Silungile Mokoena says that her brand’s presence at this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) holding in Bulawayo next week, is that it falls in line with her goals of expansion beyond South Africa.
Mokoena, who will be forming part of a business delegation that will be led by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) to the 2017 ZITF, holds a National Diploma in fashion design and specialises in the manufacturing of high-end boutique wear, corporate uniforms and bridal wear.
“Zimbabwe makes for a favourable market for me to venture into because of its proximity to South Africa which makes it easy for me to move my goods. In addition, the cultural similarities between the two countries makes it an attractive market to venture into,” adds Mokoena.
Mokoena further mentions that her bridal range has been receiving such positive demand in Bulawayo, so much so that she has been invited to showcase her designs at the Bulawayo Fashion Week which will be on Friday, 28 April 2017.
“My long long-terms goals include me obtaining my accreditation from the National Department of Higher Education and establishing a boutique for bridal wear. I have also been receiving numerous requests from people interested in learning about fashion design. I would like to establish an academy locally to tap into that demand and establish also a satellite branch in Bulawayo going forward,” adds Mokoena.
South Africa’s participation at the ZITF follows on the heels of a successful participation in 2016 where a reported total of 431 trade leads were secured by exhibitors, with a total of 21 Zimbabwean agents appointed and export sales totalling R10 million recorded through participation.
The companies that are part of the delegation will be assisted by the dti through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme (EMIA) which aims to develop export markets for South African products and services and to recruit new foreign direct investment into the country.