Shimuketa takes on fashion world

By Rosalia David

LEONE Shimuketa is fast becoming a familiar name in the fashion industry. With the Most Fashionable Commercial Range award from Truworths South Africa under her belt, she is proving to be one of Namibia’s trendy new designers to look out for.

Apart from being recognized in the highly demanding South African industry, Shimuketa in fact recently walked off with an award for ‘Best Designer to Look Out For’ at the first ever Katutura Fashion Week held in Windhoek.

Born and raised in Rundu, Leone always had an eye for design. She started making designs with black plastic bags and other materials at a young age and seeing her grandmother smile every time she showed off one of her marvelous new outfits, drew the young girl closer to the art.

“Growing up I always wanted to be a fashion designer, this has been my desire and passion ever since. I could identify fashionable subjects and I enjoyed dressing up. I would also have small runways behind my house,” she said.

Shimuketa completed her secondary school at A.Shipena and furthered her studies at Lingua College where she obtained an Advanced Diploma in Business Administration.

After completing the Business Administration course, she decided to finally pursue her dreams in fashion design at the Cape Town College of Fashion Design, where she graduated last year. She has since started her own collection, titled ‘Sirenga’.

Asked on how she feels winning an award at the Katutura Fashion week, Shimuketa said she couldn’t be more grateful. “I’m over the moon, this award is more like giving back to my mom for everything and I owe her my life. All those sleepless nights and sacrifices, her hard work is really paying off,” she said.

Although she is only starting to see the fruit of her hard work and dedication she admitted that it was no walk in the park as the fashion industry is filled with talented emerging designers.

“Being able to stand out in such a big crowd with all the creatives out there was a challenge. I really had to learn to balance with staying true to myself and having the confidence to please a huge crowd. It’s never easy, I had to learn new tactics all the time, but through the filtration process, I managed to discover myself.”

Asked about her next move, she said she will be taking part in the upcoming Windhoek Fashion Week, with plans to introduce an exciting collection named ‘Vigilante’, which will cater for both males and females.