By Sam Banda Jnr:
Renowned fashion designer Lilly Alfonso left the country on Friday for Egypt for a two-week scholarship that will see her promoting cooperation in fashion, business, cultural heritage and tourism.
Egyptian Ambassador to Malawi, Maher El Adawy, said in July this year he was impressed with Alfonso’s designs, hence giving her a scholarship.
“Alfonso will travel to Egypt for the first time on a scholarship to promote cooperation in fashion and business, among other areas,” El Adawy said then.
Alfonso, who has travelled places showcasing her designs and flying the country’s flag in fashion platforms, said she is thankful to the Egyptian Embassy in Malawi for the opportunity.
“We still need to do more to grow our fashion industry and we can only do that if we also have opportunities like these where you learn. Every time I undergo such trainings I always make sure I share the information because it is not for me alone but for everyone in the creative sector,” she said.
Alfonso added: “There is so much to learn. I am also attending trainings and one of them is on management of heritage sites and mechanisms for the preservation of cultural heritage,” the Lilongwe-based designer said.
Alfonso said she interest to connect businesses with fashion designers.
“I want to see how best I can look into the fashion industry. They have cotton here and we also have our own cotton but they differ and so, as designers, we need more good fabrics besides designing,” Alfonso said.
The decorated designer also observed recently that many of the country’s artists lack vital information and that there was need for awareness campaigns.
Alfonso singled out information on intellectual property and copyright which artists have limited knowledge on.
“There is limited, to no, access to intellectual property (IP) rights information. Artists lack awareness campaigns on IP from responsible IP offices and so most IP issues are easily neglected,” Alfonso said.