Lesotho Fashion Week on the cards

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Mohalenyane Phakela

UNITED States-based fashion designer Bokang Ramoreboli is set to host a fashion week in August this year, which would be preceded by a red carpet launch event at Thaba Bosiu Cultural Village on 16 April 2016.

The Mafeteng-born fashionista told the Weekender from her Queens, New York base that the launch would serve as a precursor to the main event in August.

“The red carpet launch on 16 April will simply be an introduction and a miniature event to create hype for what is to come in August during the official Lesotho Fashion Week,” she said.

“Among the benefits of the fashion week is that local designers will not only get exposure, but also get to network and build close relationships with foreign fashionistas. This, in turn, will create limitless opportunities for them without having to travel abroad.”

Ramoreboli said the local fashion scene was still budding and conservative.

“Lesotho fashion has a much reserved appearance and feel. The colours are not very bright and the style is conservative, unlike in the US,” she said.

“However, lately I have seen a lot of vibrant colours and designs that still maintain that exclusivity and class that I admire and I am proud of about my homeland.”

The fashionista said she would showcase her latest range which is dedicated to Lesotho during the fashion week.

“My latest collection, Royal, embraces and embodies the royalty that Lesotho represents and the foundations upon which the nation stands. These are strength, perseverance, determination and the royal pride of the Mountain Kingdom.”

Turning to her personal journey, Ramoreboli said: “Fashion has always been a big part of me and my family. My mother introduced me to Akara fabrics while my aunt was a high heel shoe lover who would say ‘the higher the heel the better’.

“I held my first exhibition at the Plitz Fashion Show during the New York Fashion Week in 2012. I had always wanted to be part of that glamorous show but I was only an accessory designer at the time, so they told me to produce a full clothing range if I wanted to feature in the show.

“I could not afford to lose that opportunity, so I learnt how to make clothes and ended up showcasing 20 pieces which elicited a standing ovation and left the organisers astounded.”

She has since showcased her wares at various international fashion events in Montreal, Canada, Guyana, Suriname Fashion Week, Southern African Fashion Show in Washington DC and the African Day Parade. Among her accolades so far is the Best Designer award she won last year at the 2015 Face Awards in the US.

Ramoreboli said she also hosts her own shows to raise funds for her foundation, LES Arts, which is meant to uplift budding talent from Lesotho.

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