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RINA’S VIBRANT PRINTS ACCENTUATE ZANZIBAR’S EMERALD BAYS

Ri.ch Creative Factory was founded straight after my third year at the Lisof School of Fashion. I was ready to get my work out there and I was not willing to wait for someone to hire me.

Rina-Chunga-on-previdar

Rina Chunga | Fashion Designer now come Stylist

A savvy business lady with unmistakable creativity,  best known for her work as an African print designer, Rina Chunga is a South African born Fashion Designer and now Stylist with a unique eye for striking and sturdy materials. Equipped with vivid visualisation abilities and indestructible sewing skills, Chunga is one of South Africa’s most promising and innovative African-print fashion designers.

Chunga’s Ri.ch Creative Factory collections embody the affluence and diversity of African visual cultures, paying homage to her Zambian and South African heritage.

This fashion triple-threat scored a tremendous hat trick along the pristine, sun-soaked tranquil beaches of Zanzibar as she seamlessly designed, created and styled Previdar Magazine’s first International cover.

She speaks to Previdar Magazine about her career as a fashion designer.

 Previdar has styled its covers with garments designed by Ri.ch Creative Factory before, but this was the first time a Fashion Designer embarked on an International trip to style for a cover shoot. How was this experience for you?

This experience was out of this world, to say the least! I am not a stylist; I certainly wasn’t before this opportunity. I was not sure what to expect as a designer but I took the brief in my stride and jumped right in.

I was honoured and elated to be part of the team and I grabbed it by the horns and headed to Zanzibar, ready to style my heart out. After making a great impression on the Flying Fish team with my Flying Fish Squad designs, I was thrilled to learn that they wanted me to head to Zanzibar to style the entire shoot.

The Ri.ch-Creative-Factory-Flare worked in unison with the young and effervescent market of Flying Fish. Having to merge the crux of Flying Fish, Ri.ch Creative Factory and Previdar Magazine, through clothing design and styling, proved to be quite challenging. However, I was eager to take on the challenge and spur a magnificent union between all three brands.

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Rina Chunga styles Amand Du-Pont. Amanda’s Kimono by Black Coffee. Swimsuit: Himeros. Shoes: Europa Art Sandton. Photo: Lawrence Manyapelo

What does this mean for your business growth and how does this sort of platform affect your career?

 Working on this project did not only present me with a chance to showcase my designs but it also proved to be a great networking platform, allowing me to support and solidify my working relationships with celebrities, journalists and the DNA Brand Architects team. I am excited by the growth prospects for my business.

I managed to showcase my versatility and creativity as a designer and stylist, in both Grazia and Previdar Magazine. Aligning my brand with the Flying Fish brand proved to be fruitful! This alliance is loaded with exciting possibilities and it has aligned my business with its intended target market.

When did Ri.ch Creative Factory begin and what are you plans for the future?

 Ri.ch Creative Factory was founded in 2013, straight after my third year at the Lisof School of Fashion. I was ready to get my work out there and I was not willing to wait for someone to hire me. I wanted to open doors, not only for myself, but for my team too.

Part of what I wanted to achieve with Ri.ch Creative Factory was to redefine bold African prints, to make them exciting again. I wanted people to see these prints as more than just a plain outfit, one wears to traditional weddings.

African print designs can be as exciting as the monochrome designs we see on runways across the fashion capitals of the world. Our very own diverse cultures, traditions, music and art have always served as great inspiration for African fashion. I want to see more people embrace that; I want to see more people have fun with their clothing.

Besides being business savvy, having indestructible sewing skills, an intuition about what women want to wear, and a heaping helping of luck, this emerging designer has vision in spades.

Rina Chunga is well on the way to checking off all those boxes, and she is fast entering the ranks of designers who are defining how women, in South Africa (and soon the world), are dressing these days.

Report by: Thabiso Lebitsa.

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