Reneta Ndisang is one of Cameroons leading womenswear designers, whose Afrishic Clothing line is gaining a prominent reputation across Africa, so we went to speak to her to learn more about her talent.
Me: What is your secret to becoming one of the most popular designers in Cameroon?
Reneta:Hi, I think the secret to become one of the most popular designers is all about believing in yourself and knowing the road you are taking, and most important of all God.
Me: The Cameroon fashion industry is growing tremendously quickly, what would you say is behind this?
Reneta: So far Cameroon has great passionate people, and I think it is all about the passion and fate. Also the rapid growth in fashion around the world is giving Cameroonians, who have always wanted to be fashion designers a chance to wake up and follow the path to fashion.
Me: Would you say Cameroon designers are more fond of the colours red and black in comparison to some other African countries, does this stem from any culture?
Reneta: Hahaha! The colours red, green and black. I will not say much but it depends on the designers choice of colours. Personally I love green and red as they are some of my favorite colours in the world.But also green culturally stands for vegetation which could mean prosperity *She laughs*
Me: Do you engage in a lot of Fashion Weeks?
Reneta: I tried getting to London Fashion Week, I was actually excited going for it but as life goes, some things came up and I had to drop-out. But I would love to be on those international fashion week runways someday.
Me: Do the shows you engage in Cameroon help the sales of your clothing?
Reneta: Yeah, the few shows I have been to in Cameroon has helped me a lot with clients and sales, though I need more of these.
Me: As a designer how important do you feel it is to use models of international modelling standards, tall, thin, etc?
Reneta: Well, I will say there are not one body type in the world, to me I will love a full figure model, not to thin but with bust, and some hips to bring out the perfect shape of a dress, besides i know African ladies to be full figure not thin. I love full figured women. Thin models are good as well because some dresses fits them better, but all these depends on the designer.
Me: What do you think makes Cameroon fashion stand out in comparison to other countries?
Reneta: I love this question, to me what makes Cameroon fashion stand out is the fact that we are embracing many aspects of our culture. For instance we have designers who specialize in using the Toghu embroidery to make modern fashion trends. Others also use the bamelike fabric to bring out a brighter trend. Though not all fashion designers use that others do use the African fabrics to bring new fashion trends and many people love them. Another thing with Cameroon fashion designer is the fact that they are passionate about what they do. They are creative especially.
Me: If you could make one wish in the line of your career as a designer what would that be?
Reneta: One of my wishes is to be on big runways like New York fashion week, London fashion week, Mercedes Benz fashion week SA. I would also love to see celebrities wearing Afroshic on red carpets or on streets everywhere. Also, I would love to have my shop in five different fashion countries.
Me: Have you ever come close to quitting and why?
Reneta: Yeah I have reached that point where I almost wanted to stop what I was doing because I felt like I was not being noticed. Some of my friends also made me want to quit, pressure from family too because they felt like what I am doing was a waste of time. I have come close to that point, but I realize in order to succeed you have to fail so many times.
Me: What made you decide to continue?
Reneta: What made me decide to continue was God, I went on a Novena and I told God to lead me through which he did. Secondly my passion and love for fashion made me not to want to quit, it is an addiction you know *We Laugh*. I love what I am doing and I am happy. When I did the fashion finest competition and came out top 5 out of 8 designers I felt like the world love my work, also people talking about Afroshic on streets made me wanna continue.
Me: A lot of associates of our in Cameroon are wearing your designs, besides the beauty on the outside, what else do you think enhances the experience of your clothing?
Reneta: Wow this is difficult to me, but i think what enhances the experience of my clothing is the finishing, the way colour has been used, fabrics being played with.
Me: Any last words?
Reneta: My last word will be if you fail in something once never give up,keep trying and you will make it.Yeah thats what i am doing and thats what other big companies did before they became what they are now known today.God bless and thanks Nana