Mo Creations and Couture is the covetable fashion company created by Zambian designer Charity Nyirongo. Nyirongo fuses the vivid colors and bold prints of her culture with a Westernized flair. She is one of the countries most qualified with her appeal to the global market. Cliché caught up with the talented designer to learn more about her collection and upcoming appearance in Africa-Malaysia Fashion Week.
Cliché: Was fashion design always a passion for you?
Charity Nyirongo: Fashion has always been a passion for me. As a young girl, I was already passionate about designing dresses for my dolls. As I grew up, I started making dresses for myself and my younger sister.
How do you showcase Zambian culture while maintaining global appeal?
I showcase Zambian culture through the use of the African print which is used in Zambia by our tribes as a traditional cloth. Zambia has 73 tribes, of which all have various tribal cultural ceremonies. I get my inspiration from these various tribes and cultural ceremonies which are colorful and diverse. Most of these tribes also use a lot of beadwork in their costumes. I maintain the global appeal by fusing my designs with the western appeal.
What are you looking forward to in the Africa-Malaysia fashion show?
The AMFS is a platform for me as a fashion designer to showcase both as an African and a Zambian. My collection is an expression of our cultures in Africa to the rest of the world. It is also a good opportunity to sell my brand and network with other designers from all the countries that will be represented.
What was the inspiration behind your latest collection?
In my latest collection, my inspiration has been drawn from the many tribes of Zambia in relation to the use of color, fabric, and jewelry. The colors are bright, the fabrics incorporate a lot of African prints, and the jewelry has been made with beads. I have also used my signature style, the corset, which has a global appeal and cuts to flatter the female body.
Why do you think it is important to have a fashion show that showcases African and Malaysian fashion?
I think it is important to have an African and Malaysian fashion show to strengthen ties between Africa and Asia, which in my view has not been explored to its fullest.
Images courtesy of Mo Creations and Couture
Charity Nyirongo Interview “Creatively Couture” originally appeared in Cliché Magazine’s Aug/Sept 2014 issue.