Danayi on Choosing to Be Kinder to Herself and Celebrating ALL Her Successes

October 26, 2020

Looking back to your early years, is this the life you envisaged for yourself?

Parts of it, yes. However, my story is still under construction, so I am enjoying the journey.

What have some of the biggest highlights and achievements been?

Being a mother is definitely a highlight, especially as someone that probably wasn’t the most maternal person on the block. It has added so much purpose and value to my life in a way I never could have imagined and has changed my viewpoints on a lot of things. Professionally, it’s been the opportunity of getting to work with some of Africa’s finest musicians and have them trust me with their image. Being identified by GT Bank Fashion Week, Lagos as one of Africa’s emerging fashion designers to watch out for, followed by a Vogue feature on collections that stood out. Being nominated for ‘Best Emerging Designer’ Award and ‘Entrepreneurs’ Award at the Zimbabwe International Women’s Awards in 2015 and 2018 respectively. Being selected to be an AfrOurban Artist. Through AfrOURurban, I exhibited my Haus Of Stone fashion narratives in Melbourne,Australia. Haus Of Stone representing Zimbabwean fashion at the N’gola Festival in Sao Tome under Kenyan creative director’s (Sunny Dolat) exhibition and being chosen to showcase at GT Bank Fashion Weekend in Lagos Nigeria alongside some of Africa’s finest designers. 2020 started off with Haus Of Stone being selected by Fashion Revolution to host a Fashion Open Studio for Fashion Revolution Week 2020 (20 – 26th April 2020), an international programme that brings together a diverse range of emerging designers and established trailblazer brands for the purpose of shining a spotlight on best practices and innovation. For me, all this isn’t validation as much as it is ‘confirmation’ about the gift that God has deposited in me.

If you were to pick one defining moment on your journey to now, what would it be?

It would be the release of my 2018 collection entitled Ode To Askana collection. That collection was pivotal in defining me as a fashion creative as well as my evolution. It was one of the most intuitive, intent driven, collaborative and easy collections I have ever put forth and I believe that the authenticity, time and care that was taken with that collection is what resonated with people and has made that collection a door opener for me.

 What are the things that matter most to you?

I love my family and just seeing happy healthy families in general; it makes for a better healthier world. I also love coming into contact with successful people who are just humble, kind, honest and hardworking.

Oprah suggests everyone’s biggest pursuit in life should be to find what their purpose is and then to spend every waking moment making sure they live to fulfill it. What is your purpose? Have you figured it out yet?

I know these hands were made to create and that this mind was made to wonder wild with creative, dynamic ideas that speak to who we are as a people. So that is exactly what I do; I create and tell dynamic stories through the vehicle that is fashion using multidisciplinary art forms in order to achieve this. I will continue to do this, until life sets me on a new journey.

What do you love most about the woman you have become?

I love that I stand up for myself, and that I am willing to try things out even when I am scared in order to not be scared anymore. I love that I still want to learn new things, I try by all means to be a constant grower. I love that I live for what sets my heart on fire, rather than chasing what I think other people love and trying to fit the mold. I love that I still dance and scream with joy over things that excite me and that I am becoming more confident in myself, that I don’t always have to prep, pluck and package myself in order to be received and deemed worthy, that I am okay with being imperfectly perfect.

 

THE LEGACY

What does the future look like? What do you still want to get done?

I feel I have a wealth of knowledge pertaining to my industry locked up inside of me that I would love to share with others at some point. I definitely want to start hosting more conversation around areas in which I specialize and have a good understanding of. I want to own my own Haus Of Stone lifestyle space. I know everyone is going online, but my old school spirit definitely still wants a brick and mortar space that speaks to the energy of my brand. It’s going to be more than a retail space, but an experiential space.

If you were to do it all over again, would you do anything differently?

I think I would choose to be a lot kinder with myself and to celebrate all my success, even the ones that appear to be small.

How would you like to be remembered when all is said and done? What story do you want to be told about you?

I would want people to see me as a pacesetter within my space, someone whose work is worth referencing within various fashion spaces. I want my work to be like a Picasso or Monalisa, to live a life longer than anything I could have ever imaged.

 

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