By Tawanda Ngena Renowned fashion designer Paidemoyo Chideya Mazhandu believes that the Zimbabwean fashion industry has the potenti...

By Tawanda Ngena

Renowned fashion designer Paidemoyo Chideya Mazhandu believes that the Zimbabwean fashion industry has the potential to surpass expectations and can one day become a major player on the regional stage, if not an international one.
"Opportunity presents itself in many ways. We are being given an opportunity to rectify the problems that have been created by past generations and we are also being given a chance to develop the sector and and become a leading player in Africa and eventually in the world. Therefore, the onus is on us as fashion designers to grab this unique opportunity with both hands", she said.
Who can doubt that assertion, especially when it is coming from a Paris and New York trained designer who of course is owner of her own fashion label, DeMoyo, which she established in 2010 and is located in the leafy surburb of Avondale, Harare.
" The name 'DeMOYO' stems from Paidemoyo, my name and it also means 'from the heart'. All that I can say is that all creative works that come from me come from the Heart.
"Nothing beats knowing that I am being my best, yet still individual and that I am the brand ambassador within my work culture", said Paidemoyo.

DeMoyo's target market is metropolitan women and men aged between 25-40.
" We recognized a need in the market for a sophisticated and fabulous look when it comes to business attire. The need comes from the understanding that a corporate look should also define a personality, a feeling, a touch, a sense of style and above all else eloquence.
" Our goal is to connect to the grassroots of the corporate subculture and we have  embarked on the great mission of tackling corporate culture and identity through design, style and clothing", said Mazhandu.

Mazhandu spent more than a decade discovering what it meant to become not only the epitome of the classic, but an innovator in the fashion sense as well.
Now mature, and ready to leave a mark on the fashion industry with her own style, she has created a product line that she hopes encapsulates her vision of the fashion world.
"I have always been creative. I consider myself a creator first, an artist second and a designer third. I have been blessed enough to have real experience from some of the fashion world's top players.
"This subsequently led to me pursuing my own dream of creating a fashion empire. I have seen things that most people only dream of and it has been the most beautiful  experience of my life", she said. 

Born in Zimbabwe, raised in Sweden, London and with a brief stint in Paris, Paidemoyo learned to refine her design eye through the diversity of all the multiplexes of cultures that surrounded her upbringing. Upon her New York City arrival, she worked some of the most iconic fashion houses, chief among them being Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, where she learnt to refine her eye for vintage, style, eloquence and demure.
"One of my most treasured moments was naturally the first show I ever saw live- Valentino in Paris and then walking down the runway at the end of my show in Toronto", said Paidemoyo.

In this industry, to survive you have to stay ahead of, not only the trends but the competition as well, we asked Paidemoyo how her own product line has managed to stay relevant.
"First and and foremost, our basic approach is to work on each individual client to ensure customers retention. The residual effect of this is that naturally by word of mouth people will hear about our service, finishing and expertise. Then secondly the garment itself speaks for itself.
"We make sure that everything we do is made to perfection. What is does is that it guarantees our product. Thirdly, all social media, online platforms, website, retail outlet platforms must be in top form. That's it in a nutshell", she said.

As to her plans for the future, the fashion designer said that one of her primary goals was to establish flagship stores across sub-saharan Africa in the next 5 years.


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