FORMER Miss Zimbabwe Samantha Tshuma has lined up style and development workshops under the banner “Project 102” for Bulawayo that will be headlined by an international stylist.

Spearheaded by the former beauty queen’s Open Eye Studio, the workshops will feature John Ablaza from the Philippines who heads Eco Couture Design.

Ablaza arrived in the country last week with a team consisting of make-up and hair stylist Pierre-Lyn Arcega and model Medjy Mezilus, who is also a designer with Meme Designs in Haiti.

Project 102’s public relations consultant, Sherine Taylor told NewsDay Life & Style that the workshops will avail a platform for fashion designers to sharpen their craft.

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“We hope to see the creative sector grow in learning, exposure, with the goal to create international platforms for our artists to showcase. As John Ablaza says, ‘we have the talent,
all we need is to create infrastructure to take this further,’” she said.

“We intend to keep the programme alive and have various people visit every year and with the help of John Ablaza we know this will be a success. He has vowed to work with us and every
Zimbabwean artist till our local brands get international recognition.”

The programme will kickstart with a three-day workshop from May 9 to 11, with morning sessions held at Ster-Kinekor followed by a networking session and interactive workshops in the
afternoon at various locations.

Speakers will include United Refineries chief executive officer Busisa Moyo, Saimon Mambazo Phiri of Bulawayo Arts Awards, Terrence Mugova of Educate, filmmaker and photographer
Jeffrey Chasi as well as fashion stylist and television personality Gilmore Tee.

Vic Rich of Adrenaline Specialised Driving of South Africa will also run a workshop on advanced driving and the importance of safety on the roads.

A fashion show to be hosted at Banff Lodge on May 14 headlined designs by Ablaza, Arcega, Mezilus and locals will wrap up the programme.

Ablaza is an “eco-fashion” designer specialising in fabricating garments using sustainable materials like seeds and coconut shells. With his passion for horticulture, the planet and
people, he aims to provide a new perspective on the future of fashion.