Chenesai has launched their latest collaborative initiative, Fashion Futures in partnership with British Council and Nataal Media.
Fashion Futures is a female-led multinational project curated by Chenesai Mukora-Mangoma, to foster creative engagement for change and to encourage collaboration by bringing together four content creators from varied artistic genres including fashion, beauty, visual art and anthropology.
The team includes Zimbabwean visual artist Lucia Nhamo, British Ghanaian writer, curator and visual anthropologist Adjoa Armah, Malawian beauty and wellness expert Thokozani Phiri and Namibian design and fashion creative Leah Misika.
Collectively, they are carrying out groundbreaking research on sustainability within underground fashion industries. Each of them is tasked with producing content for a country other than their own – Lucia for the UK, Adjoa for Zimbabwe, Thokozani for Namibia and Leah for Malawi.
The project falls in line with British Council priority areas, which include promoting collaboration, urban youth development and empowerment.
As the content creators journey through their research process, youth engagement will be a key component in exposing young people to the importance of developing sustainable fashion sectors.
“The body of work produced hopes to contribute to the framing of sustainable policy that will ensure that fashion is a lucrative trade for the young generation,” explains Chenesai.
Fashion Futures also hopes to highlight the fact that a well-established creative sector boosts culture and tourism. Key dates for the project are centered in Zimbabwe. In March, Cultural Producer Lorraine Bgoya will host round table discussions with the project research team and local content creators at the Moto Republik hub in Harare.
This will be followed by various activities in Bulawayo, where content creators will explore tanneries in the vicinity, before exhibiting immersive, multi-media installations incorporating film, sculpture, textiles, photography, crafts and written texts.
A group of local creatives have been brought on board to collaborate in support of the project. Rudo Nondo, the country coordinator for Fashion Revolution will conduct sustainable fashion training for value chain stakeholders during the content creators immersion program in Harare and Bulawayo.
Graffiti Art collective ‘Calligraph’ will employ their knack for colour to create the official project banner, while Adrian Zhou and Tatenda Kanengoni will oversee documentation of the project engagements through photography and film.
In Bulawayo, content producer Gilmore Tee will utilize his knowledge of the city to ensure that the team fully taps into the undiscovered local fashion talent.
The culmination of Fashion Futures will be final works by each creator – published on Nataal and other digital media and social platforms globally – that document and imagine new narratives for sustainable fashion.
Chenesai Brand houses three portfolios including fashion brands, social change and a legal portfolio working to find the synergy between sustainable development, trade and investment in the fashion sector.