First Katiti Seychelles Fashion Week off to a colourful start |23 August 2022
Fifteen years on from the establishment of local fashion brand Katiti Seychelles, the family-owned company yesterday launched the first Katiti Seychelles Fashion Week, with a star-studded fashion-filled ceremony.
Held at the National Museum of History, the two-fold event saw the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between artistic director of the Harare Fashion Week (HFW) Munyaradzi Chihungwa and founder of Katiti Seychelles Fashion Week Johanna Didon, with the aim of opening yet more avenues for future collaboration and cultural exchanges.
The MoU will serve to increase market reach for both fashion events, while also allowing for the creation and maintenance of a vibrant African fashion calendar as it is hoped it will attract more African designers to the showcasing activities either in Zimbabwe, or Seychelles.
“I am really emotional and feel as though I want to cry. Signing the MoU, and realising that we are the first agency in Seychelles to sign an agreement with another country such as Zimbabwe, it is a major step, a major achievement for us,” Mrs Didon said.
“Fifteen years has been a struggle, we have gone through hard times but we have always remained determined. Each time we face a challenge I ensure that I go back to the words of my mentor Peter Roselie, which is why we are still standing today,” Mrs Didon stated.
In addition to the signing of the legal instrument, invitees and guests had the opportunity to catch a glimpse of what is to come during Saturday’s main event, the fashion show to be held at Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort and Spa under the theme ‘Tropical Wings’.
A number of Katiti models strutted their stuff down the catwalk during yesterday evening’s event, donning traditional attire designed by the brand itself, depicting the evolution of fashion and hair styles in Seychelles from our slavery days to the 80s.
The collection of traditional clothes was researched and designed by Katiti Seychelles, and was originally intended as part of the 250th anniversary of Seychelles which did not go ahead due to the Covid pandemic. Having already designed the collection, Katiti is also hosting a two-month long exhibition at the museum where it presents gallery goers an opportunity to gain some insight into the progression of the local fashion industry over the years, and is planning to hand over the collection of traditional costumes to the Seychelles National Institute of Culture, Heritage and the Arts during Saturday’s show.
“It is an honour to finally be able to go ahead with the Fashion Week. We had been planning it for some time, but faced delays due to Covid-19, but we thought this would be the opportune moment to launch the first edition, with many more to come in future,” Mrs Didon added.
The fashion show will see the participation of at least seven international designers and a number of upcoming local designers. Katiti itself will be showcasing seven to eight personal collections.
Interestingly, the HFW will also be debuting a brand new clothing line, Emminent Clothing, at Saturday’s show.
“The relationship with Katiti Seychelles Fashion Week is going to make us better, and is also going to make them better. The great thing about Katiti is that they are experts in modelling and that is something we are not necessarily experts in, so we really want to tap into this, and learn from them,” Mr Chihungwa expressed to local media.
To conclude the launch, guests were treated to a special moutya performance.
The first fashion extravaganza has been made possible with the support and collaboration of the Enterprise Seychelles Agency (Esa), the Ministry of Tourism and Foreign Affairs, the Seychelles National Institute of Culture, Heritage and the Arts, Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort and Spa, and Africa Fashion TV.
Katiti Seychelles is a clothing brand originally launched in 2007, while the Katiti Seychelles Modelling Agency was established in 2020 in response to the urgent need for more models locally when designers have to showcase their lines and collections.
To date, the all-inclusive agency has over 90 young talented models on-hand.
The accompanying photos show some highlights of yesterday evening’s launch ceremony and signing of the MoU.
Photos by Louis Toussaint