Fashion design house Rita-ac Collection has been on many people’s lips following the Miss Botswana finale a few weeks ago that saw the second princess Winfred Motcher stun in a red frock.
The brains behind this fashion house is fashion designer Rita Abbey Chuma who describes herself as a ‘playful creative.’ In an interview with BG Style, she explains that when a client comes in, she looks at them as a person during consultation. “I look at their body figure and also consider the kind of event they are attending as well as their tastes and we take it from there,” she says. She says she prides herself with creating work that has a royal touch.
“The recurring element in all my designs is that I always add a touch of royalty to make my work stand out,” she says. She adds that she always challenges herself to do better than her last design. “It is a matter of keeping the standard or taking it higher,” she adds. She explains that she is a creative and likes to make her imagination run wild when she is working on a design. “I don’t like common outfits and I will work on something until I get a ‘wow’ factor – I always want to make garments that stand out,” she says. Rita-ac makes high-end clothes for special occasions and specialises in gowns that stand out.
Chuma explains that they were invited to take part in the Miss Botswana fashion show this year and they agreed. The organisers and contestants were blown away by their designers. Apart from the second princess, they also designed for Miss Botswana 2017/2018 Elias Moitshepi who handed over the crown. Most recently they dressed Miss Botswana first princess Uaa Murenga at the Independence Celebrations last week.
Chuma works with her husband of 14 years, Ronald Chuma, who does the marketing. They established Rita-ac in 2006 and have been at it since then. Ronald says they make unisex clothes but they have more female than male clients. “Women are more into fashion than men. But we do cater for both sexes and give each client our best.
With us, every client is high end and we make sure that they are satisfied with the end product,” he says. He points out that the biggest challenge of running a fashion design house in Botswana is that many people still cannot differentiate between fashion designer and tailor. “With a tailor you can find a picture on the Internet and ask them to re-create it.
A fashion designer takes their time to tweak the outfit putting into consideration their figure, personal taste and environment,” he says. He also says that Botswana is coming up in the fashion stakes. “We have many more fashionable and style conscious people around. Botswana is lagging behind in terms of the fashion industry but in recent years I have observed that they are catching up.”
Rita-ac has worked with many clients including model beauty queen One Mariri. They have also worked with music artists including Punah Gabasiane who they have dressed on several occasions.