My name is Simba Chakauya and I am a designer. I was born in Zimbabwe but have lived all over Africa, Asia, and Europe and am currently based in the USA. My mother is a fashion designer and my sister is law student who also likes to put on runway shows in her spare time. I am currently pursuing a major in Architecture at Middlebury College in Vermont but I love all things design. Art, fashion, architecture, interior design, UI design, you name it! I hope to one day be an all-round designer using the fundamental principles of good design across my various fields of interest.
Fashion is important to me mainly because of my mother’s influence in my life. I now strongly believe in the power of dressing well and how that can affect the psyche of the wearer. Fashion can be a powerful tool if it is practical. Hence I am not particularly a fan of runway fashion because it seems to be overcrowded with so much impractical clothing that does not enhance or compliment real people in their everyday lives. Maybe that’s the point, to not have any other purpose other than runway but then I would argue that this form of fashion belongs in an art gallery. I want all my artistic faculties to be linked and fashion is but a node on a long chain of interests.
Entrepreneurs live the hardest lives. I would compare an entrepreneur to being someone who decides to walk a tight rope between two buildings instead of just crossing the street. Why would one take the risk of falling and dying as opposed to just taking the safe route across? I don’t know. This is the essence of being an entrepreneur, taking risks when people would rather take the safer, easier route in life. I walk the tight rope, not because I am not afraid but because I want to overcome my fears so that I can realize the depths of my being. This is the difficulty of entrepreneurship.
It is critical for people from all walks of life to take risks once in a while. If not, then you can never know your limits or breaking points. Knowing your limits is something that can really help you understand where you belong in the world and an entrepreneur sees themselves not defined by one avenue but by everything that catches their attention. People without the resources of the West could do well with some experiential learning through taking business risks and learning as they fall forward.
I have a couple of things is the works right now. I sell art and clothing at Society 6 to help me keep growing more as an artist mostly and also to create really cool things for people to have. A lot of my work has commentary that goes with it and I like to think of my body of work as a snap shot of our times. It is a visualization of the existence that we all live but sometimes fail to notice. I also launched an Italian sneaker line called Bütsu at Alive Shoes and I am currently trying to reach my first target of 7 pre-orders so that the sneaker heads into mass production! So that’s exciting. I’ve already sold a couple but there are still some left for those interested! Furthermore I am working on a start-up and featuring some of my art work with other up and coming apparel companies that are trying to promote artists through fashion. All in all, I am taking steps towards being an all-round designer and this is only the Genesis.