#byBAKARI: For the love of African Print…

From a young age he always wanted to make clothes, and now as an adult he is living out his childhood dream, making clothes under the popular brand #byBAKARI. Bakari Sibanda is a man with a vision to make sure that in the near future, every single household on planet earth will own a piece from his brand. With a deep love for African print, he is making sure he creates timeless, classic designs that speak across all generations and gender. Here’s more about the man, brand and the vision…

Where did your passion for fashion come from?

Fashion has always been my passion from a young age. I remember how we used to talk with my siblings about what we wanted to be when we grew up and for me it was always about making clothes for them. Growing up I definitely looked up to international fashion icons like Anna Wintour and the late Karl Lagerfeld and designers Dolce and Gabanna of D&G…

The Brand #byBAKARI, how did it all come about?

#byBAKARI began when I realised a gap in the fashion industry where African print

was slowly being phased out as most people associated it with a certain age group. So I decided to focus my creativity on changing that perception and bringing back to life African print in a way that can relate to the younger generation.

Where do you draw your inspiration from? Can you describe your creative process?

I love print. Everywhere I go I’m always looking out for print that talks to me. All my inspiration comes from different types of print that I see wherever I go. The minute I see a print I like, my mind starts working on what I can make out of it.

Being a male designer in the fashion industry….has it impacted your experiences in any way?

It’s so sad that people still want to associate the fashion industry with women because creativity chooses no gender. I’m passionate about fashion and I want to share my creativity to the world.

What makes your brand unique?

I feel like the uniqueness of every brand is about the vision and the goal that the brand is based on and that’s the uniqueness of #byBAKARI. Deeply rooted on passion, my goal is for everyone to have a positive outlook towards African print.

How would you describe your personal touch?

My personal touch…? Well I’d say having no boundaries. You can’t afford to have limitations as a creative and that’s the beauty of it all. If it makes you comfortable then wear it.

Where do you get the fabric for your designs?

So far I’ve been sourcing my fabric from all over, as long as the fabric speaks to me. But the majority of it has been from Zambia as they’re the main source of African print in Southern Africa.

Which clothing items do you specialise in? Does the brand cater for both men and women?

My goal has always been to dress every single human being despite their background. So, you’ll realize that most of my stuff is gender non-conforming. Three individuals from different backgrounds can get into our space and fall in love with the same piece and that’s what I love to see and live for.

What kind of person do you create your designs for? Can you describe your target market?

Initially #byBAKARI was for anyone with an artsy mind and eye for creativity but with time I realised I need to reach even those who know nothing about art and educate them through my pieces so that they get to appreciate it.

Can you describe your creative process when coming up with your designs?

It all starts with sourcing different prints. I can spend the whole day walking in the CBD looking for prints that inspire me. My best days are when I come back with different fabric prints and, in my mind, I already have what I’m going to make from all of them. There are times I just lay all the pieces on top of the table and get to match what goes with what but it’s always the end product that gets me most excited.

Any all time favourites from your collections?

That’s a very hard one considering every time I come up with something, it becomes my new favourite. Picking just a few feels like I’d have let all my other pieces down. Laughs*

Any exclusive items we can look forward to?

Yes definitely, we are fast approaching summer and I have some ideas that I’m still working on. So, keep on the lookout for the summer collection.

The brand #byBAKARI in the next 7 years……what is your vision?

The #byBAKARI logo always comes with a ‘Made in Zimbabwe’ byline. That on its own defines our vision of making it an international brand with every household having a #byBAKARI piece in it. In 7 years, all you would have to do is say the name and everyone, anywhere in the world should know what you’re talking about. That’s the dream behind the vision.

Where can people buy #byBAKARI?

We have an online store running currently on www.bybakari.co.zw. We are still in the process of stocking other online stores. Also, anyone can access our social media pages and/or contact us on our WhatsApp platform.

For Purchases:

Online Store: www.bybakari.co.zw

Facebook: by_bakari

Twitter: @by_BAKARI

Instagram: @by_bakari

Email Address: [email protected]

Payment Methods: Cash, FCA Transfer, Zipit, EcoCash




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