By Jeoffrey Mukubi
NDAHAFA Shaimemanya is a 23-year-old up-and-coming designer, who recently launched her latest collection, titled Manya, which is also the name of her brand.
This collection was heavily inspired by the natural features of Namibia, particularly the contrast of the desert meeting the ocean.
This concept drew her to combine movement and fluidity on a structured base, which incorporates architectural elements in the designs of her garments.
Neutrality also plays a big role in the colours of the garments, as it compliments various skin tones.
Her interest for fashion grew at the tender age of 14, when she became addicted to reading fashion magazines, stalking fashion blogs and watching fashion shows.
After completing her high school studies at St Georges Diocesan College, she then moved to Paris, France where she completed fashion design courses at ESMOD International and at the Conservatoire national des arts et metiers (CNAM).
She is interested in mass production, and the retail business as a whole, which she feels Namibia lacks at this stage.
“Namibia is almost fully depended on South African retailers and this is the exact gap that I’m trying to fill. I believe retailing is the meeting point of fashion and business, which are two industries that I’m greatly interested in getting my foot into,” Shaimemanya said.
She would also like to put Namibia on the fashion map by creating and building brands that can be on the same level and size as international brands, such as Zara and Mango. ”I think it’s about time we build and supply our own Namibian produced garments that can cater to the fashion needs of Namibia and other African countries, the way Woolworths and Mr Price are doing, and then to gradually expand internationally.”
Shaimemanya is inspired by Haider Ackermann and The Row and hopes that Manya can carry the same elements as these two brands.
“My target market would be a working, professional woman, who enjoys comfort and quality in her garments; she has to be independent, self-aware, confident and comfortable in her skin, and not worried about looking perfect and outstanding, but rather be graciously refined and elegant, which inevitably makes her stand out.”
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015