Anufrieva to host fashion week early next year

Mila Anufrieva still finds time to help those in need
Mila Anufrieva still finds time to help those in need

Considered to be one of the top business geniuses, Mila Anufrieva, has her eyes set on working with local fashion designers to take the fashion industry in Botswana to greater heights.

Credited for beating all odds to build a $100m-worth luxury fashion empire, Anufreiva is set to host a professional Fashion Week in Botswana oriented towards attracting both local and international designers, press, and buyers.

Quizzed on why she picked Botswana, Anufreiva simply said apart from the fact that Botswana enjoys peace and political stability, the country has talent in abundance, which needs to be nurtured to penetrate not only the local market, but also the international markets.

She said events such as Fashion Week are important, as they provide the platform for those in the industry to shine, by giving them the much-needed exposure to showcase their products. Anufrieva who has already announced that she is planning to build a world-class fashion school in Gaborone explained that coming up with a professional fashion week is no child’s play, as it needs a lot of expertise.

“Many around the world have tried to host a Fashion Week, but not many have succeeded,” she said. She added there is no doubt in her mind that the fashion show will go a long way towards developing the fashion business in Botswana. Anufrieva said that with her expertise, she whole heartedly believes that she can turn Botswana’s fashion industry into one of the most-talked about and sort after in the world.

“In addition to inviting the local media to cover the Fashion Week, I also will invite international media, world renowned designers, and other respected people in the fashion industry. After the show those who are impressed will go back home and talk about Botswana designs, and many people will start to talk about clothes made in Botswana,” said Anufreiva. She said a successful Fashion Week will not only provide those in the fashion industry with networking opportunities, but open up many doors for local designers to do collaborations with renowned international designers, and also provided opportunities for some designers to get residencies with top designers.

Anufreiva said that she is mindful that the country has many fashion lovers, who take pride in buying clothes from different designers around the world.

“You see that can change as through both the Fashion School and Fashion Week local designers will get intelligence on what potential customers want and give them exactly that,” she said. She said many people around the world love Italian suits, and pay a lot of money, either ordering the suits or travelling to Italy to buy, and explained that through the Fashion School and Fashion Week designers can be brought from Italy to come and teach Batswana designers how to make Italian suits. “That will cater for customers who want to buy Italian suits as they will have a choice to buy locally.”

She said her target is to host the Fashion show early next year.

With experience that spans over two decades in the fashion industry, Anufrieva, has worked with and developed brands for some of the top names in the fashion industry.

In 2017, she was elected an ambassador of Made In Italy, and her success has earned her the honour to be seen as a candidate for a feature film. In 2018, Eyeshow Pictures, Los Angeles, produced a feature film titled The Last Empress of Fashion, a true-life story of Anufrieva.

Despite having experienced many challenges in her life, such as defeating stage III cancer, and fighting off male competitors who hijacked her fashion empire, while she was still fighting the disease, Anufrieva still finds time to help those in need.

She devotes some of her time to assisting orphans, and advocating for the rights of Albinos, and also assisting them to enjoy a quality life. She has built an orphanage, which houses 200 orphans, and also takes care of about 300 Albinos in Guinea Bissau.

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