Bringing together simplicity, contemporary design and experimental form, Annique Mutale Kapapa is a luxury women wear designer based in Lusaka. The Couture fashion and Hat designer has had her clothing and head-wear worn by local Zambian celebrities like Salma Sky, Bombshell and Mutale Mwanza among many others. Annique’s A-list clientele has made her a participant designer in Zambia Fashion Week.
Interested in translating conceptualism into wearable products, Annique is often inspired by contradiction and enigma.
She is also concerned with innovation and sustainability and often utilises unusual materials in her pieces.
HypeMagazine speaks to Annique about her design process and Zambian fashion.
HMZ: Tell me about your background. Where are you from and where did you go to school?
Annique: I am the daughter of Mr Emmanuel Jagari Chanda and Mrs Grace Chanda. I was born in Lusaka (I have a twin sister Monique and a younger brother Jagari Jnr). I am a wife to an amazing Husband, Mr Chita Kapapa and a mother of 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls.
I did my primary education at Rhodes Park and Chudleigh Primary Schools, I did part of my Secondary school at St Mary’s in Lusaka and St Johns Convent in Kitwe. I did my BMM with ABE UK.
Workwise, I am a Business Development Director at Walter Genius Courier, Founder of Cook heart Foundation, Owner and Head Chef of Two Forks & Knife Catering, Designer Afrinnique Clothing and Afrinnique Garden and Home.
HMZ: What initially piqued your interest in design and fashion and specifically hats?
Annique: I have always admired how Royal families wear hats for almost every public appearance and I feel hats add a lot of elegance to an outfit. Whenever you are anywhere outside of your normal routine or a new setting and environment, it’s something that makes you feel confident.
HMZ: When starting a new collection, where do you begin?
Annique: I usually begin by looking into a concept, such as a butterfly effect and then I source images and research keywords relating to the concept. This enables me to gather ideas for colours, shapes and also fabric choices. I like to work on the stand to experiment with draping and cutting techniques before designing on paper. The design developments come after this.
HMZ: Where would you like your business to be in 10 years time?
Annique: I’d eventually like to have my own long standing flagship store and to be stocked in all the major luxury department stores and boutiques. I’d like that sooner than later! I hope my label will be recognised as a well established and reputable brand. I want my pieces to be something that people sought after and would be proud to wear and have in their wardrobes. Most importantly, I want to be a successful business no matter how big or small it may be.
HMZ: What are you working on right now?
Annique: Right now, I am trying to become open to the idea of being affordable to the public. I want to make my hats more accessible. There’s a lot of research and development happening, but I want to keep it a little bit secret before I let it out. I don’t like to show the process. I like to show it when it’s done.
HMZ: Do you plan to design something else other than hats?
Annique: A good hat has to go with a good outfit! I am more into elegant outfits for anyone invited to an occasion as a Guest and my outfits always fall under the theme of THE GUESTLIST COLLECTION. I’m definitely open to new avenues as a designer so I am open to everything. I would love to design SHOES, At the moment, I am trying to hyper-focus on my goals, but after a couple of years, we will see where God leads me.
HMZ: What are your current goals?
Annique: To be different! To become an industry built on better values. We need to create a tailored frame for our own, an African solution to garment manufacturing.
HMZ: Where does all the inspiration for your design come from?
Annique: They usually come from ideas of what I’d love to wear to a function as a Guest and standout! I am not a plain person lol
HMZ: What aspects of the fashion industry would you like to change?
Annique: To be able to provide elegant hats from here (Zambia) and not always buying from other countries.
HMZ: What do you think is unique about Zambian fashion?
Annique: Zambian fashion is so vast and varied and culture plays a big influence. On the one hand there are some very wearable, classic designs while on the other there are some quirky conceptual and not so wearable pieces. There really is something for everyone.
HMZ: Where can we follow you?
Annique: You can check my clothing page AFRINNIQUE or my personal page Annique Kapapa on Instagram and Facebook.