UNITED Kingdom-based Zimbabwean fashion designer Pamela Samasuwo-Nyawiri has been nominated for the prestigious Women For Africa (W4A) Fashion Designer of the Year Award pencilled for the UK in May.
The inaugural W4A awards were launched in 2012. The awards seek to celebrate women of African origin and the nomination has no voting system, but the final recipient of the award will be selected by an independent panel based on a scoring system.
Speaking to NewsDay from her London base, the 40-year-old Samasuwo-Nyawiri said she was honoured to be flying the nation's flag high and her wish was to see Zimbabwe coming into the forefront of the international fashion scene.
"Being recognised for the work you do is very flattering and moreover if you are flying the flag of your country, your purpose automatically changes and it is no longer about you, but about the nation you belong to," Nyawiri said.
"I had an amazing 2014 regarding my fashion journey and as 2015 starts being recognised for such a prestigious award is just amazing."
Samasuwo-Nyawiri said as someone with a passion for the fashion industry, her aim was to ensure that Zimbabwe was put in the international limelight.
"In Zimbabwe, we have some amazing talent and my wish is for them to climb the ladder and create a credible fashion industry, which not only gives back to the designers, but becomes a gateway to strengthen our economy," she said.
Samasuwo-Nyawiri said the opportunities that have come from her nominations were overwhelming since they have opened several opportunities for her.
The year 2014 was a good one for her growing career as she became the first African finalist for the Vogue and Muuse Talents Young Vision Accessories Award for the Best Emerging International Fashion Accessories Designer.
During the same year, Samasuwo-Nyawiri, a Fashion Accessories Design graduate from Nottingham Trent University, was also nominated for the Mulberry Accessories Award 2014 for Best Directional Collection and Fashion Designer of the Year and she was also the bearer of the 2014 Nottingham Trent University Art and Design Vice-Chancellor's Award for Best Academic achievement.
Samasuwo-Nyawiri, who launched her fashion label Vanhu Vamwe (meaning One People) in 2012 which specialises in conceptual contemporary leather luxury goods, has worked with top fashion houses and international designers including Paul Smith, Timberland and Guess.
She has done concept research for brands like Paul Smith and designed a range of accessories for them, as well as a series of styling photo-shoots inspired by British Vogue.
She has also designed a limited edition collection for River Island in the United Kingdom.
As a way of expanding her brand, Nyawiri said she has embarked on a project called 54faces which has already attracted much interest internationally.
"54faces aims to recognise fashion as credible way to boost the African economy by bringing manufacturing back to Africa," Samasuwo-Nyawiri said.
About Women4 Africa
W4A is a UK-registered organisation focusing on celebrating and empowering Africa and its women by supporting and celebrating their role in their communities via conferences,
supporting education and awarding prestigious awards on such women identified and nominated by the public.
It does not only celebrates the chievements of African women, it lso supports and empowers African women by either initiating or supporting key initiatives.