We can’t talk about Haute Couture taking its space in Africa and not mention Tapfumanei Munenge.
His latest collection ENIGMA it’s so breathtaking and we couldn’t wait to chit chat with him about what inspired it. Don’t worry about who will make your wedding dress anymore, Tapfumanei is now on your deck.
Congratulations on the new powerful collection. What inspired this Autumn Winter 2021 Collection?
I’m inspired by women who are edgy who channel their inner femininity and have nothing left to lose and they live life to the fullest.
Why the name ENIGMA?
Enigma, because of the mystery behind it all. One has to mysteriously sexy without knowing what their thoughts are or what they are up to!
How long did it take you to create the ENIGMA collection?
I can safely say ENIGMA was my quarantine baby. I was pregnant with her and nurturing her throughout the whole of last year waiting to deliver this masterpiece for Autumn /winter.
What’s your background as a Fashion designer?
Well, being part of the LGBTIQ community, fashion is never far fetched, it lives within, I was heavily inspired by my mother and her sisters who also got it from their mother. I guess fashion was already running in the blood but waited for the right time to get the degree and intern with the best at Spero Villioti where he propelled me to be the designer that I am today.
What ignited your passion for fashion?
Well, I live, breathe and eat fashion. It runs in my veins, being queer and the social misfit who didn’t fit in, fashion was my comfort zone and I was LIT!
How did you start and when?
I was in fashion for as long as I can remember, but making it a business I started in 2014!
How would you describe your Brand?
Tapfumanei Munenge is about working with timeless tailoring to sculpture the women’s body into a powerful figure creating fantasies into realities.
Where do you get the materials to create your collections?
I mainly source my fabrics from Johannesburg, Lusaka and some online on Ali express and also collaborating with local suppliers right here in Harare.
Whats TM aesthetic?
- Very feminine yet masculine
- Timeless yet futuristic
- Simple yet sexy
You have been in the game for a long time, your work is so consistent and you always bring dreamy collections how do you keep TM in the game, What’s your secret?
Haha a woman never shares her secrets!
What mantra are you living by right now?
Make garments that are memorable and timeless.
What should we expect from you this year since you just blessed us with ENIGMA?
All I can say in I’m pregnant again and hush!!!! BABYLON is on its way!
Who were your Muses for ENIGMA collection and why?
ENIGMA was about the boss lady who has her life in order and has it all figured out. So with my muses I wanted to create the mysterious woman who people don’t get but want to know more about. The ENIGMA DOLLS are:
- Miss Becky
What type of woman is on your mind when you’re cutting the cloth or making your sketches?
A woman who has money and isn’t afraid to spend it.
Do you have any Brands you wish to collaborate with?
In Africa it will be an honour to work with Bonang and Kefilwe Mabote.
How do you get down with it when it comes to Sustainability?
Zimbabwe is a tough market, a good strategy and working with eco-friendly products and always remember quality over quantity!
What’s the most challenging thing about being a designer?
Designers are birthed and discovered each and every season, remaining relevant and on top of your game is the most challenging.
What have you learnt as a designer?
Be kind to yourself ! The sky is the limit.
How do you describe fashion?
Fashion is a movement, period.
Where do you see TM in 5 years?
5 years is my global takeover! Leading stores across the globe.
Your take on Zimbabwe’s fashion Industry since you’re a designer, what do you think should be done to improve the industry?
Fashion is a career not a hobby. Once we all have that mindset as designers we can all turn Zimbabwe fashion into a global phenomenon.
How did lockdown impact your work?
It fueled me to refocus my take on fashion and create ENIGMA.
What advice would you give to an aspiring African designer?
Think out of the box and tell your story in your own way, have your own signature move and be known for that.
How do you take care of your mental health as a creative person?
Refresh refresh and nothing a glass of dry red can’t take care of!
What are your favourite spots in Zimbabwe you would recommend Tourists to visit?
Victoria Falls is always a must! Then of course for the perfect getaway Gonarezhou national park!