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Simone Mubare: Fashion is my passion

Simone Mubare started Imani Bijou Creations last year for one reason, to do what she loves most; fashion.

Simone has been drawing figures, rather teaching herself how to draw figures with dresses or gowns for as long as she can remember. She would try different ways of shading like pointillism or using crosses.

“I had a friend who encouraged me to follow my dreams. She said there were many people who are working just to make a living but it wasn’t their dream,” says Simone who first did a course in  tourism.

In 2004, she started her art work using materials like banana leaves and sisal sacks. She has since mellowed into designing more wearable clothes.

Fashion school

“It was crazy back then. I was finding my style and at the same time I wasn’t confident because I didn’t know how to sew. It’s been an issue even in all the fashion schools I have attended. I can only design,” she says. S

he worked at Kiko Romeo for two months as an intern before she left and enrolled at Evelyn College of Design in 2007 for a six-month course.

She later joined the Design Academy of Fashion in Cape Town, South Africa  for one year. The learning experience, she says, built her confidence.

“I learnt a lot because South Africa is ahead of us in fashion. I have shared my South African experience with other designers,” she says.

Her dream was fuelled by her mother’s love for African wear especially from Congo. Unlike the West Africans, Congolese are known not to hold back on colours and patterns/prints. In fact, the louder the better.

“My style is a  mix of African heritage with a Western touch. I try and get the best of both worlds. With every item I create, I’m expressing exotic glamour, giving people an elegant flow when they wear my line,” says Simone, who won the best upcoming designer of the year award at the Nairobi Wonderland Fashion Awards in August.

We are starting to appreciate our African heritage and I am happy about that,” she says.