Oh no i didn’t, oh YES I did! Bolt from the blue! Only the best is good enough. As you know Diverse Fashionista blog associates with the finest fashion brands and fashionistas in Zimbabwe. Hats off to whoever coined the word, “SWAGGER!” they definitely had the likes of people like Pokello Nare the Queen of SWAGGER in mind. Assertive taste CHECK. Sense of Style CHECK. Trendsetter CHECK. Check,Check,Check. It’s safe to label her as a fashion guru in Zimbabwe. She is a sophisticated and ambitious woman who is always pushing boundaries to build an empire. Her brand, ‘Pokello’, has a number of subsidiaries including Pokello Pink Bottoms and Nail Lacquer. Pokello Nare opened her doors to the diverse fashionista, so lets peep into her empire. Join me as i embark on an insightful journey with Pokello into paths that have carved her fashionista attributes and building an empire brand. Enjoy!
1. You have an exceptionally stunning style Pokello, where does your style creative aesthetic come from, and what is your style mantra?
Pokello: (Smiles) My style mantra is like a mixed goodie bag. You get classic and timeless pieces, you get tomboy and casual and then of cause glamour and expensive designers. I’m versatile with my style, it’s relatable but always unforgettable. I love statement pieces, when I dress I want it to look so tasteful that people always refer back to it.
2. For someone who aspires to be a ‘Queen of Swagger’ like you, what would you say are must have in a Fashionista’s wardrobe?
Pokello: In any fashionista’s wardrobe they are 10 must haves:
- A white shirt
- A little black Dress
- A black blazer
- Cream formal pants
- High waisted Blue Jeans
- Nude pointy heels
- A black fitted pencil skirt
- White pair of trainers
- Tan pair of slippers
- A Floral Maxi dress
3. As a fashion icon, what would you say is the best way to dress to set yourself out from the crowd when attending a huge event?
Pokello: When dressing for a huge event you want to make a statement. One piece of your clothing must be captivating and if it is an event then I would recommend a hat. Hats are alluring and always draw attention. Personally, my hair is a big factor for me so I prefer not to cover it up. For huge events you can usually find me in a one of a kind dress, because for me a well tailored dress will always turn heads.
4.Can you recall the very first shoe you designed for ‘Pokello Pink Bottoms’? How did you feel when you first saw it being worn in the streets?
Pokello: The first pair of Pink Bottoms shoes that I designed was a classic pointy heel. I had just returned from the reality show Big Brother Africa and I capitalized on the hype that surrounded all the housemates from different countries. I named my first design ‘Housemates’ collection. It encompassed 13 colours, each named after one of the female housemates I had shared the Big Brother Africa experience with. I think I underestimated the reach and impact this would have and it catapulted Pink Bottoms instantly.
5. ‘Pink Bottoms’ why ‘pink’ in particular?
Pokello: The colour pink was an easy choice for me. During my time in Big Brother Africa, I was a big fashion sensation and everyday one thing always stood out and that was my Pink lipstick. My love for pink lipstick became the decisive factor in the concept creation for Pink Bottoms.
Diverse Fashionista: If you are not popping that pink what are you waiting for?
6. How many collections does Pokello Pink Bottoms have?
Pokello: To date Pink bottoms has launched 12 designs in the 7 years since we established, namely :
- Housemates collection
- Size Me Up
- Spell My Name
- Fringe Benefits
- Greener Pastures
- Barely There
- Trophy Wife
- Camo Boots
- Summer Perforated
- Purple Sunset Collection
7. What is your criteria for a well constructed and designed shoe?
Pokello: For me a well constructed pair of shoes has the perfect dimensions for our wide, African feet. Most international designers cater only for narrow feet and yet there is a market of African women who love shoes but whose feet can’t last beyond an hour in them, because the toes have no room to sit comfortably. In my designs the toes are my main focus because blisters and bunions should be a thing of the past when it comes to comfort and fit.
8. To help impart some wisdom to an aspiring shoe designer and shoe brand owner, from start to finish, tell us about your shoe design process.
Pokello: The shoe designing process is challenging. The creativity is key because you need to follow the latest trends, then look for the gap within those trends. What is lacking, what would you switch up on a certain design, colour palettes, textures, fabrics. Will you go with suedes or leathers or patents?If it’s leathers, which one. Calf skin, sheep skin or caviar. The footwear industry is vast and constantly evolving. Getting the right manufacturers is fundamental, getting them to understand your vision and the quality you want is even more important. Timelines and deadlines. Quality control requires you to be hands on especially in the inception period.
9.How many shades does Pokello Nail Lacquer have and what makes it different from other Nail polish?
Pokello: (Ecstatic) Pokello Nail Lacquer is definitely the baby I’m most proud of! We have 250 colors. What makes it different from regular nail polish is that it is a Gel polish that is of the highest standard. Once dried under UV light and sealed with it’s top coat it doesn’t chip or peel for 6 weeks. Washing dishes, hand washing clothes or other strenuous house chores will still have it in place.
10.Considering your impeccable style and how you have established yourself as a fashion icon. Should we expect a clothing line from you in the near future?
Pokello: The power of the POKELLO brand allows it a foot into any arena we enter into. So much so that we are on an aggressive expansion plan. We have already started designing clothes under our brand as well as collaborations with different designers in Zimbabwe such as Ric Chasers and Haute Couture Guru and Zarguesia. Nothing in the fashion industry is off limits for us.
11. Its safe to call you a retail giant in the Zimbabwe fashion Indusrty, what can shoe lovers expect soon from Pokello Pink Bottoms?
Pokello: As a lover of beautiful footwear, shoe lovers are guaranteed that our brand will continue to grow and produce innovative designs of the highest quality. We haven’t produced a pair of sneakers yet and that’s something that has been in the pipeline which you can expect to see from us. In 2021 we are pushing our creativity up a notch and making designs that leave lasting impressions.
Pokello lives up to the billing of being the best at what she does. Her hardwork has blossomed her to stardom. From the fashion expertise above everything else, the mission statement was simple. Wear something that will make a statement but always remain true to you.
Pokello got a chance to speak to the world and so can you. How? simply follow and DM
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@thatchiq_yuraah (Instagram) and you could be next! Fashion lovers do keep up!
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