Tanaka Samukange seemed truly taken aback last night when he won the Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe (FWZ) Design Talent Award after being named the emerging designer of the year 2014.
The 20-year old's collection from his label '7:30' had an American feel to it, with army green material, chequered elements and huge labels on the outside of the garments, baseball jacket style.
His prize includes guidance in various areas by specialists in the fashion business to help see his business take off.
Samukange was one off initially six talented designers selected for the programme. These were reduced to five after one was eliminated after the first few weeks.
Speaking to Zimbo Jam after being named the winner, an elated Samukange said that the three month mentorship journey had been a great learning experience for him. "I learnt so many things; the business of fashion, fashion illustration and branding were some of the main things."
He said it was great that he had won the prize and that he was looking forward to pushing his businesss forward.
Yvonne Ndawana-Watadza, one of the mentors for the young designers, told Zimbo Jam that she was impressed by the passion that they had shown, "A lot of them are so eager to learn so it has been easy working with themJust over 300 people packed into the custom designed marquee that was used to host the fashion shows for this year's Fashion Weekend.
The presentation of the FWZ Design Talent Award was one of the highlights of an enchanted day of fashion where three professional designers presented some gasp-inducing collections.
Botswana's Aobakwe Molosiwa showcased a breathtaking collection which he said he created as a way of playing. He told Zimbo Jam, "To create this collection I put my work aside and started playing. It's something I have wanted to do for so long and I am happy it came together."
Zimbabwean designers Tapiwa Mudekunye (House of Yanai) and Danai Chapfika (Haus of Stone) were also on point with their inspired collections.
Other designers who presented collections during the weekend were #NDNM, Kun'anda and Moi Amara.
FWZ founder and director, Shamiso Ruzvidzo, said that she was thrilled that they had pulled it off the way they did, "The shows have been absolutely amazing! The designers blew it out of the water, they have done well," she averred.
Speaking on how this year's edition of Fashion Weekend Zimbabwe had improved compared to the inaugural edition last year, Ruzvidzo said that she was grateful for partners who had come in to support them.
She went on to say that while it was important for businesses and NGOs to be involved with events like FWZ, it was critical for the government t be involved as well. "We need to start reviving clothing and textiles in order for fashion to grow. We hope we can start working with government to make this happen.