Meet YDT, the next big fashion house in Malawi

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Fashion designing in the country is now one of the most lucrative entrepreneurial industry the young generation is venturing into. 

Names such as Christian Entwan, Kliff Culture designs have curved a niche for themselves and are doing well with the surge in number of Fashion shows and expos that are being organized. 

In our quest to document the best of the bunch we came across a pretty interesting name, YDT. 

A quick look through the fashion industry indicated they are not that known but have some exquisite material. 

We came across them at Blantyre Arts Festival and then heard they were also showcasing at the first annual Fashion4Change at HS Wine House. 

NS: First. Your full names and designer name

YDT: Wongani Chenda Mkandawire and Chantel Flora Mwamondwe. Our designer name is YDT. 

(Younger Designer Twins) 

NS: How old are you and when did you discover your talent in designing

YDT: We are both 23 years old. We have been designing our whole lives. Its an in born thing. 

Model on runway showcasing YDT design. Photo credit JustJerome

NS: Are you related? 

YDT: We are bestfriends. We’ve known each other for along time, went to school together at Joyce banda foundation. 

I was doing IGCSE, she (Shantel) was doing MSCE . Everyone said we looked alike and had alot in common. We were always designing our own cloths back then if theres something happenin at school. When we finally met, we did have alot in common we decided to be making cloths. 

Wongani Mkandawire in one of her designs at BAF

NS: Where do you find the inspiration to come up your designs? 

YDT: Well our designs came from God. We make use of everything we see, either shape, height and a design comes up. We sketch it and talk about it then we make it.

NS: Tell us about the amazing designs you showcased at Blantyre Arts Festival

Shantel

YDT: Believe me, the designs we made for BAF came from trees. We saw some trees in Michiru and how they looked like and we sat down and decided to make something based on how the trees were looking. 

NS: Really trees, that is interesting. We’ve heard of inspiration from condoms to refuse to bottles, 

Explain, how you took the concept and actually made it materialise

YDT: Its really hard to explain, but the way these trees stood thats how we came about the designs. Its like they were dressed in flowers and if you recall one of the outfits had like flowers down …it stood for the roots. 

Tree inspired design

NS: What is in store now for YDT 

YDT: We are now creatively planning two shoots on the backdrop of Malawi for a massive PR campaign aligned with an international creative director and photographer. 

This is aligned to two fashion shows that will roll out in December that will feature a new collection and guests

Shantel

We are partnering with Fashion Council in South Africa by Gods grace with an aim of JHB Fashion Week. 

And then with African Fashion Week. 

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