Ranks soars with his designs

Who said fashion designing is only for women? Well, a 22-year-old fashion designer Anderk Thyolera, popularly known as Ranks, is here to prove that men can design and sew too. The Lilongwe-based artist is not only building the arts ladder through fashion designing, but also styling and modelling and has been making noise all over social media with his self-styled designs. From his works, one can definitely tell that art is really subjective. Our Staff Writer Revival Mwanandi caught up with the designer: Excerpts.

Q

Ranks modelling one of his designs

Who is Ranks?

A

: First and foremost my real name is Anderk Thyolera and I’m 22 years old. Currently, residing in Lilongwe, Area 23. I am a designer by profession.

Q

What prompted you to start designing?

A

: I ventured into this fashion and designing industry because of the passion that I had and still have right now and it has been there since a very long time ago. I started in 2019, but it was not untill 2021 that I started releasing my designs.

Q

What opportunities have you created through of this clothing line?

A: Ever since I embarked on this journey there has been tremendous opportunities starting with the nomination I got for this year’s Maso Awards. Other opportunities include big artists approaching me to do some designs for them in their music videos or when going to various events. I have so far worked with the late WalyCris, Rashley, Lackie and Smacks Kaira, among others.

Q

What are the challenges you have faced since you started?

A

: Just like any other industry, I have also encountered many challenges. The biggest challenge that I’m facing right now is that my designs are somehow new in the country and it’s really hard for people to accept. My designs are unique and target a specific group of people. Lack of raw materials is also another hiccup because I have to order things from abroad and sometimes it takes days or weeks to arrive in the country. So, it’s a big challenge when I have so many orders and I have to make the deliveries right on time. Others are minor ones, but I consider these as the tough ones.

Q

: How would you categorise your designs?

A

: I am a top fan of Ye formerly Kanye West. He inspired me so I would define my designs as elegant because I’m the one who introduced this in the country and it’s the most unique design you will ever find in the country. As for Anderk Ranks I target influencers, talking about those who hold a certain role in the community those who have a voice to be heard. The likes of actors, musicians, TV presenters because I have observed that there is a huge gap of fashion as far as entertainment is concerned. So I intend to fill in this gap and making them my biggest niche.

Q

: What else do you do apart from designing?

A

: I’m a stylist, model, influencer and I also sell clothes which of course is working hand in hand with the designing industry.

Q

: How do you brand your work?

A

: I have so many strategies that I use to brand my work which include dressing artists in their music videos and not forgetting actors. Another strategy that I use is that after designing something, I model it myself through photoshoot pictures which are then uploaded on social media such as Facebook and Instagram. Other online platforms such as Mikozi and Makosana do promote my brand too.

Q

: What should Malawians expect from you in the coming years?

A

: Malawians should expect more from Ranks45 designs because this coming year we have lots of designs that we want to put out there and change the whole complexion of the industry. We want to put our country on the map in terms of designing. I’m putting in more effort day by day which I hope for positive results.

Q

: What are your future plans as far as designing is concerned?

A

: I have so many plans in regards to my dream of becoming the best and reliable fashion designer in the country. One of it being that I want to open up a branch of Ranks45 designs where I will be doing my designs and in so doing I will employ other people to be working for me. I also want to open a designing school where I will be teaching others thereby promoting youth empowerment.

Q

: What can you say to your fellow youths who are struggling with unemployment?

A

: They always need to believe in themselves even though others may not. It’s not easy but if you do, then everything is possible. There is always a possibility in the impossible.n

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