It was Zimbabwean roots and crafts of tribe women which made Nyasha Mabhunu’s fashion collection the colourful fusion that featured at African Fashion Week London.
The 23-year-old, who will graduate from Bucks New University (BNU) in September, was one of more than 100 designers with connections to Africa to show their collections at Freemasons’ Hall.
Nyasha said: “My collection was inspired by my identity, where I come from in Zimbabwe, and from a tribe called Mandebele.
“The women there handmade some of the beautiful beads I used in my collection. I met lots of other designers and people who work in the industry – stylists, models, bloggers and African TV reporters.”
AFWL is Europe’s largest catwalk event showcasing African and African-inspired fashion design.
Nyasha, who studied fashion design at BNU’s High Wycombe campus, in Queen Alexandra Road, added: “The best part of the event was walking out on stage and hearing everyone cheering and clapping.
“It really made me believe in myself – I am a designer and people do like what I am producing.
“Before that, in my head I was just a student and didn’t really see myself on the same level to call myself a designer.
“Lots of people loved the collection and how different it was. It wasn’t really focused on African prints, it was something that hasn’t seen before.”
Speaking about Bucks New University and her lecturers, Jane Bowler and David Hopwood, she said: “I learned everything I know about the fashion industry at university, and my lecturers, who are both designers themselves, helped make my collection what is it right now.”