Published on November 22, 2012 | by Shereen Lawrence0
LCF alumnus showcases collections in KenyaLondon College of Fashion alumni Zekaryas Solomon is showcasing his menswear and womenswear collections at the first ‘FAFA (Festival for African Fashion and Arts) Fashion for Peace’ gala night in Nairobi this month.
Capital FM and Crème of Nature have teamed up with the biggest fashion organisation in Kenya to present an eclectic mix of established and emerging African fashion houses at the Silver Ring mega-dome at Ngong Racecourse.
The LCF Pattern Cutting and Garment Technology graduate told the Arts London News that the idea behind the event is to present a platform that brings international designers together to network and showcase their lines.
Solomon described the concept behind his designs as “architecture and tradition, brought together to create something modern and futuristic”.
His menswear line Rouge et Noir is part of his new collection and is inspired by World AIDs Day.
He feels that it is very important to showcase the line on a big scale as he produced the entire line within a week-and-a-half, by working 20 hours a day.
The womenswear line Elegance and Dynamic is part of his spring/summer 2013 collection, and the first line Solomon has ever created for women.
He said he initially struggled with the cuts and shaping, but the process taught him how to understand the body of a female in a 3D model context.
Solomon is experiencing a victorious season after winning several prestigious awards.
He expressed his initial disbelief when he discovered he had been named as one of Africa’s top 10 male designers, telling ALN that he called the editor of the magazine to make sure it was not a mistake.
“She answered the phone and said ‘will you please start believing in yourself?’ I asked her again if she was serious and she hung up the phone.
“Until last Saturday I have not believed in myself. I have not truly believed that I am doing something unique that people would be in awe of.
“To be picked out of all of those amazing designers and artists just makes me think, wow.” Zekaryas Solomon
“All my friends are congratulating me and I still can’t quite believe it,” Solomon said.
Solomon also expressed his shock at winning the Best Male Fashion Designer for the 2012 BEFFTA (Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts) award last month.
He explained that he was not planning on attending the ceremony but was persuaded by his friends to show his face.
“When they called my name I came up to the stage and did not know what to say. I looked up and there were hundreds of people, I was shaking – it was an honour,” said Solomon.
Two weeks later he won the Menswear Designer of the Year award at the 2012 Fashion Finest Awards. Solomon explained that he had mentally prepared himself not to win the award because of his previous victory at the BEFFTA awards.
“You do not expect it because the business is so competitive and has so many talented people. To be picked out of all of those amazing designers and artists just makes me think, wow,” Solomon commented.
Solomon is currently working on expanding his business and marketing his collections. He is working on launching a website and is planning a trip to Africa Fashion Day in Berlin during January 2013 and has plans to showcase his Autumn/Winter 2013 collection during London Fashion Week.