Namibian Designers- Mwalenga Nghipumbwa

 So, its about time that I did something on Namibian Fashion and Designers.

I sat down Ms. Mwalenga Ngipumbwa, who recently just graduated from UNAM, Honours degree in Fashion studies and sociology. Also an aspiring fashion desginer.
I wanted to get the Namibian perspective on fashion here and in the diaspora

So, over coffee and waffles we spoke and I asked her the follwing questions:

View me.jpg in slide show

V.-What do you currently think of the Namibian fashion industry now, and how would you compare the industries growth with the diaspora?

M.-Namibia’s fashion industry has grown through the past couple of years as we see more and more local fashion designers hitting international runways and showing of their Namibian inspired collections. With a lot of them placing emphasis on the Namibian culture and all things Namibian in their designs. Which add a little different favour to runways.... however we still need more qualified individuals that  can go out and spread this heritage and expand Namibian designers to the rest of the fashion world.

V.-What do you think about everyone calling themselves a fashion designer?

It is a noticeable trend in Namibia that individuals that believe they can stitch together a garment call themselves a designer besides no formal design background. Which is a shame to qualified designers who went through years of technical training. And even through years of experience still refer to themselves as upcoming young designers, as they know the true value of the term “fashion designer” which comes with a lot more experience, expertise and mastered technicalities.

M.-What does it take to be a designer in your own opinion?

As  mentioned before a lot of expertise is required in order to be a designer. Its more then fabric meets the sewing needle. One needs to have the the technical background that is not as glamorous as the completed garments. Some of the necessary traits include

Illustration drawing: what is a designer who cant put their ideas on paper,

Pattern making skills: are of  importance as the basics of a complete garment comes from a well constructed pattern

Textile basics: is also essential as the wrong fabric combination can lead to a poor fit of a garment,

Creativity: in order to produce garments that  are impressive yet something different and unseen.

Sewing capabilities: a garment has to come together at the end of it all and good sewing capabilities can get a garment on a scaling of poor construction to showing professionalism.

The list is endless but those traits are needed.

V.-What advice would you give to young aspiring designers in Namibia?

M.-As a qualified young upcoming designer, my words would be: Be daring and different, also seek the necessary expertise required to be a designer do not be afraid to learn new traits that the industry has to offer. Stay true to your dreams as nothing is built over night.

V.-What do you think of Namibians and their sense of style?

Just like the rest of the world Namibian style tends to follow a more commercial route. However individuals need to develop their own unique sense of style, without totally taking away from the commercial end. By adding a little spruce of self identity to an outfit can create a different look. Namibians sense of style is till very mainstream in some cases, however more and more individuals are blooming with their own fashion style trends that work.

Here is some of her own work:

Mwalenga is also a little fashionista herself. I always see her in fierce earthy ,african print and so on. Love it..

occupation:fashion graduate
sense of style: boho casual
current obsession:tribal print

Thats it for little interview with miss. M .


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