Fashion designer heads to Zambia to create new brand with local talent
Beata Rajská is one of the Czech Republic’s leading clothing designers. But soon she will be swopping the catwalks for a school in the African state of Zambia, where she will be teaching locals how to make clothing as part of a project run by a Czech NGO based named Njovu. I discussed the project with the group’s director Vendula Jičínská.
How did Beata Rajská get involved in the project. Did she approach you first or was it originally your initiative?
“It was an initiative from our side. We want to start a new fashion brand – our own collection of clothing – that would be produced in Zambia and sold in the Czech Republic. So we were thinking of who we could approach with this idea, who could help us create a line that would be successful in the Czech Republic. And Beata Rajská agreed to work with us, which we are very happy about.”
Are you already working, or are you planning to work with any other designers?
“We are mainly working with a Czech designer Gizela Šabóková, who is a glass designer, working on glass statues, but she is also helping us with the clothing collection and a jewelry collection, which is made in Kenya, as part of a project of a partner organization Asante Kenya.”
“Probably both. I think we will have some products that will be sold on the local market, but some clothing will be designed especially for the Czech Republic.”
Have you cooperated with other Czech celebrities in the past, on any other projects?
“We have a long-term partnership with Asante Kenya, which is connected to [television personality] Lejla Abbasová, since we coordinate some of their projects in Kenya. We have very close relations, and from time to time we hold some events with some celebrities to raise funds or to inform people about our projects and initiatives.”
And outside of creating this fashion line, do the students that graduate from your vocational training program, do they have a chance to find employment in their own country?