Moshions – The Rwandan Brand Set to Become a Leader in Ethical Fashion
The Rwandan fashion scene is young but promising, and if you've been following Fashionomics Africa's Instagram feed lately, you'll have gained insight into one of the most celebrated brands of the moment - which is also available via our shop. Moses Turahirwa's innovative, award-winning brand, Moshions, is proud to be contributive in Rwanda's journey towards recognition as an important player in the fashion industry. "With the untapped potential, funding partners can incentivize young businesses and strengthen the ‘Made in Rwanda’ spirit," Moses told Fashionomics Africa. "Also, it’s worth noting the global recognition of African fashion; we can take advantage of the existing spotlight and buttress creatives into impressive growth."
Moses grew up in a small village far from Kigali City and was nurtured in a modest lifestyle until he decided to explore his curiosity around technical skills. He moved to Kigali and enrolled in the Water and Sanitation Engineering faculty at university, a logical path for high school graduates in technical courses. "The university supplied me with professional skills to navigate the corporate environment. It encouraged me to dream big and see possibilities beyond curricular settings. Though I took a completely different path from my degree, I still apply a range of academic knowledge when inventing, engaging, and solving challenges in my occupation," he explains. The path he ultimately took– namely fashion design – was largely inspired by his family, most of whom were effervescent tailors.
"I enjoyed seeing how my family interpreted sartorial concepts on their own terms. They worked as a team, and brought so much energy and unity to the couture mix. Everyone was enthusiastic and eager to improve. It was always exciting to see their creative designs come to life - from clothing to decor accessories. I enjoyed sitting, learning and dreaming of acquiring the same skills one day," Moses tells us. Now that his own brand has been established since 2015, he feels proud to note that Moshions oftentimes honors their etiquette. "I had to equip myself with the necessary tools and resources for the industry. I devoted my time to research. I learned from the trailblazers of African fashion and challenged myself to establish a unique experience for the sector. My family has always been supportive, even though they didn’t understand my ambitions. "Moshions is derived from my first name ‘Moses’ and Fashions. I founded the brand while in my final year of university; I envisioned to build a chic, edgy, memorable brand. Moshions felt like a perfect fit for such a profile."
As a designer, Moses is drawn to heritage-driven fashion as a powerful rendition of culture and modernity. It inspires him and his team to explore traditional ideas and integrate them into a contemporary context. "We bring age-old elements of African culture into the present moment. With this kind of innovation, we have presented a possibility to create timeless narratives that feature the past, present, and future," he explains. "We work with premium fabric suppliers in cotton, silk, linen and hand-woven or handknitted materials from around the world. At the beginning of 2020, we built networks with African suppliers to achieve our ‘100% Made in Africa’ pursuit. Also, we have been on a quest for eco-friendly compositions. We are challenging ourselves to become a leader in ethical fashion on the continent. It’s high time for the fashion industry to consider the environmental impact it poses on the planet.”
Moshions’ Zero Waste Jacket, was made in collaboration with Cedric Mizero, mirrors this sentiment, as it was made out of sheer passion for sustainable fashion. "We wanted to test out an eco-friendly piece on the market and resist the ‘business as usual’ fashion. Fashion carries a huge influence. As designers, we set out to champion climate action through reusing and repurposing clothing scraps. This project has spoken life into our operations - enhancing our commitment to reduce our carbon footprint. We are now actively vetting suppliers, reducing production waste and researching new technologies to streamline zero waste across all our lines."
Knittery and embroidery are very vital to Moshions’ design process. "Our brand boasts pure craftsmanship, through embroidery and beadwork by hand, a concept which is evident in almost all designs. We cultivate the vast versatility of traditional techniques and incorporate them with regards to their historic connection. Thanks to expert tailors and artisans, we bring cultural pride to the center through a series of symbolic motifs and patterns," Moses details the design approach. "In the coming year, we would like to see Moshions sharing more African excellence worldwide. Rwanda has a rich culture to celebrate through various channels including fashion. We have seen the growing admiration of the brand, as a culturally inspired sensation. A lot can be achieved this year such as entering new markets, consolidating ethical fashion values, and scaling up operations. It’s safe to say, the sky is no longer a limit," Moses smiles.