A special show in honor of the late South African designer Quiteria Kekana, who used to dress as American pop musician Beyoncé Knowles before his death in April, is on the agenda for the upcoming Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week scheduled for May 16-21.
The famous designer was among the top designers who confirmed their participation in the second edition of the fashion event in Kigali, but unfortunately passed away last month after suffering from cancer.
Quiteria made his name known under his previous partnership with George Malelu, as the couple created a popular Johannesburg fashion label known as Quiteria & George.
Create memorable outfits for Mzansi celebrities, including the Miss South Africa contestants.
In 2019, working with actress and fashion designer Enhle Mbali Mlotshwa, they designed the Beyoncé gown for the Global Citizen Concert 2019: Mandela 100 performance among many other great fashion moments.
The duo parted in 2019 to end a successful five-year partnership and embark on their own journey in fashion.
“Our brand Q&G was a way for both of us to finally venture into individual careers, we strategically created our brand in 2014 and agreed that we were going to be together for 5 years, and we realized at that time there was a gap for the duo to get new ideas and that’s what we gave ‘ said George new times Commenting on the divorce of the husband.
George was expecting to travel with his former partner before fashion even in Kigali but his death did not allow it.
As someone with whom he shared five successful years in fashion, Quiteria’s death continues to shock George as he decided to change the collection he was expected to show in Kigali to the one the duo worked on together as part of a special tribute to Quiteria during an event.
“Quiteria and I have loved participating in Fashion Weeks so much, it has been the most exciting journey, from conceiving the collection and bringing it into existence and the chaos behind the scenes and finally to the first model on the runway. We had so much fun with this and as a result I thought I should honor him by giving him his show. The latter is by going back to the archives of Quiteria and George, and I believe his spirit is around me and he is always in my heart,” George told The New Times in an interview.
He added: “People expecting to attend Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Kigali can expect some of the pieces we made together, and finally I recreated all the demonstrators from our previous fashion weeks.”
During their time together, the duo, along with Beyoncé, have worn almost every A-list celebrity in South Africa and some big Nigerian celebrities too, including Toke Makinwa, Stephanie Cooker, and Yemi Alade to name a few.
In terms of shows, it was shown at the Durban Fashion Show every year, AFI in both Johannesburg and Cape Town as well as a solo show in Paris in 2016.
Before the special show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Kigali, participants will observe a minute of silence for the late designer Quiteria who for years would feel a terrible loss to the fashion industry not only in South Africa but in Africa and the world. Overall as noted by Fashion Event CEO, Daniel Ndayishimi.
“When George sold the idea to us, we immediately supported it. Quiteria has been a source of pride for the African fashion industry and that is why we will observe a minute of silence in honor of his contribution to African fashion.”
Wherever it happens, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week attracts some of the best fashion designers on the continent and the world.
The annual international fashion event, which was last held in Kigali, returns after nearly two years due to covid-19 restrictions.
A total of 27 fashion designers have confirmed their participation in this year’s edition in Kigali.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week has been ranked as one of the largest Fashion Week events in the world, and Kigali was the second city in Africa to host Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week after Accra, Ghana.
Other cities hosting the Mercedes-sponsored event include Istanbul (Turkey), Brisbane (Australia), Mexico, Malaysia, and Tbilisi (Georgia), among others.