Farai Simoyi, British designer of Zimbabwean descent presented her second collection, “Madame Rouge” during Fall 2011 New York Fashion Week last February. She was named the “Breakout Designer” by Time Out NY. She’s fast becoming Known for her edgy and unusual pieces, Simoyi for this collection was inspired by Fanny the Seductress, from the 1902 French play, “Sapho”.
The collection consists of a blend of vintage silhouettes, luxurious fabrics and color palettes in printed trousers to a colour block body con dress.
Simoyi was born in London, England, the child of Zimbabwean parents. She lived in Harare, Zimbabwe, where she got her first taste of textiles and fashion, from her aunt’s lingerie company at age five. Her aunt would give her scraps of fabric, which Simoyi would sew together by hand to make clothes for both her and her dolls. And, thus, her passion for fashion was born.
Leaving Zimbabwe as a 10 year old, Farai headed to Morgantown, West Virginia with her family, where she eventually attended West Virginia University. There she studied Fashion & Design and started to hone the skills she began learning as a child in Africa. After graduation, Simoyi spent a summer furthering her knowledge, studying at Nuova Accademia Di Belle Arti in Milan, Italy.
After her summer in Italy, Simoyi moved to New York City, where she hoped to be able to combine the knowledge and styles gained from her experiences in Zimbabwe, West Virginia, and Italy. Starting as an assistant, Simoyi accepted her role as one of support, but knew it was a role she would soon grow out of. Indeed, she was quickly promoted to technical designer, where she was exposed to the cut-throat technical underside of fashion, coming to appreciate that there is a science to the art. Struggling to find a balance between working for a large brand and working on projects of her own, Farai was also featured on a television show, TLC’s “I’ve Got Nothing To Wear!” In addition, Simoyi was invited to participate in, “Style Wars,” a style competition that presents young designers and their Avant Garde designs to the public.
With her dues paid in the technical fashion circle, Simoyi was able to break into the forefront and was hired as a designer for a major denim company. Seeing her designs worn by the masses on the streets of New York only further galvanized her drive to bring her vision to the public through her own line.
Simoyi debuted her Spring/Summer 2011 collection at NYC Fashion Week in September 2010. Calling her new brand ‘FARAI’ a representation of Soft/Steel/Bohemian”, it is a symbiotic juxtaposition of the styles and experiences gained in Africa, Appalachia, Europe and the streets of NYC: woman, warrior, wayward traveler.
Pieces are available at ASOS Marketplace
For more information visit: www.faraisimoyi.com