Boikobo Gaobinelwe, the founder and managing director of Boi’s Eleganza Designs has made waves in Olando, Florida with her designs as she dressed a young beauty queen Arefa Fafah Bikimane.
Botswana’s fashion industry has one that has been limping for a long time, a difference and penetration was seen when the presidential competition commenced, in which the platform gave designers to also have a chance to showcase their work and ability in a competitive manner. It is from those moments that Botswana’s fashion industry had its recognition, with designers going abroad to also showcase their works, more fashion shows emerged and more Batswana understood the art behind designer wear.
Looking at how far the fashion industry has come in Botswana, it is very propelling to see one of Botswana’s recognised designer make waves in international platforms. The young designer has started her journey with Arefa in Botswana as she started her venture with the beauty contest here in Botswana for Royale International Miss Botswana, in which she won and advanced her journey to compete in Orlando, Florida for Royale International Miss, under the sweetheart category.
Arefa left Botswana with six designer outfits from Boi’s Eleganza Designs, heading to Florida for her beauty pageant competition in which she scooped three awards for them, in the sweet heart category which she was competing under. She won the award for best interview outfit, best gown as well as another award for fourth runner up for casual wear.
This has been a revolutionary moment for Botswana’s fashion industry, to be recognised well in international platforms where many designers from across the globe came together to dress the beauty contest’s models, but having Botswana’s very own designer Boikobo’s outfit make the loudest noise has been an achievement for this industry and nation.
“We were scared when we got there, we looked at other contestants outfits and they were sparkly and ours were the only ones that were different, so I thought that we went off the rail. Nothing of ours looked like the other contestants, I was surprised when Arefa scooped awards for the outfits,” commented Arefa’s mother, who was with her in her beauty pageant competition journey in Orlando, Florida.
It was not hard to notice the uniqueness of the designs; one would have easily wondered if they matched up to the standards as they were unique. However it has shown that the vision is in the designer, as she has managed to do incredibly beyond what could have been imagined with designs that could have easily been doubted.
The young designer mentioned that her journey with fashion goes a long way as she had to study and get a degree in order to perform the work, she highlighted that her skills come with years of experience, failures and success. She also mentioned that she has had her fair share of competitions such as president competition, being covered in magazines as well as dressing influencers and celebrities. She has made it known that her work is not limited to anything, she dresses groups, individuals for any event, any show and nothing comes hard and impossible for her. Above all, she has noted that her skills are a God given talent rather than just work she studied for.