Tanzanian fashion designers are going all out, blending colors on materials to create colorful, bold motifs, resulting in a magnificent African print.

With a single “Kitenge,” they are pushing the boundaries and leaving masterpieces in their wake. Anjali Borkhataria is a Tanzanian fashion designer who hoisted the Tanzanian flag on French soil at the Paris Fashion Week, which began on September 17. During her visit, she displayed her new collection, called ‘Made of Earth, Made in Africa,’ through her apparel business, EK-AN-TIK.

Anjali Borkhataria is a Tanzanian fashion designer who hoisted the Tanzanian flag on French soil at the Paris Fashion Week.

Speaking to The Beat, Anjali details that it’s thanks to a Pan African Fashion Brand named Asantii, that she was shortlisted with other five creative designers from different parts of Africa including Nigeria, South Africa, Ivory Coast and Angola to display their works of art on an event called Africa Fashion Up, organized by Share Africa platform in partnership with Balenciaga.

“It was such a major step in my career. Being part of this amazing event, I felt proud of how far I had come as well as being enabled to fly the Tanzanian flag in front of other fashion gurus in the world and most importantly showcasing what Africa has to offer in Paris at such an important event on the global fashion calendar,” Anjali details.

“I was pleased since this chance made me anticipate the next chapter of the creative world in Tanzania,” he continues. I was quite worried at the start of the presentation because there were so many buyers, editors, and representatives from Balenciaga, Kenzo, and other fashion houses present. It’s pretty nerve-racking to know that these folks who know their “things” are keeping a careful eye on your collection.”

As the fashion show began, Anjali adjusted to the sense that the runway was her safe haven and creative field for showcasing what her business has in store, and her nerves gradually dissipated.

Anjali adjusted to the sense that the runway was her safe haven and creative field for showcasing what her business has in store, and her nerves gradually dissipated.

My collection consisted of 14 looks that all reflected the title ‘Made of earth, Made in Africa’ which is about finding fresh meaning in ancient wisdom following an uncertain world. My collection is a pathway to understanding how to make sense of the world that is split into small units. Made of Earth explores the resurgence of localism in a globalised world and the value of looking to the past to inform the future,” says Anjali.

Anjali’s collection was inspired by the palette colour that, according to her, represents both Earth and Africa in terms of different elements including soil, mud, water, greenery, the sun, mountains, and the like, whereas every look stood in place of these elements.

With every look being showcased at the event, Anjali wanted each of them to have different statements that related to fashion, earth and Africa.

“I’ve learnt that as a fashion designer, you have to rely on a lot of people to make things happen.” This means you’ll need to put together a group of people who will work together to do tasks effectively and in accordance with their duties. “Every day in the design world is a challenge and a learning at the same time, especially in a market like Dar es Salaam, you need to have a strong team that will contribute to the firm and not the other way around,” she says.

Fashion design, to her, is more than just visually stunning sketches that culminate in garments. It entails investigating other aspects of business in order to complete a fully business transaction.

You have to be savvy and not just thinking that fashion is only about designing because for one to be successful in this arena, one also has to know about the fields of work including money, public relations, management, production and real estate, study them and ask people for advice on further understanding,” details Anjali. The fashion creative advises aspiring designers to work hard on their visions despite the challenges they face, she says it takes dedication, support, focus and self-appreciation to succeed in the fashion industry.

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