Seraphina is Feminine form of the Late Latin name Seraphinus, derived from the biblical word seraphim which was Hebrew in origin and meant "fiery ones". The seraphim were an order of angels, described by Isaiah in the Bible as having six wings each and that is according to Wikipedia …but to the young Ines Claudia Hirwa she decided to name her clothing brand “Seraphina” to honour her Grandmother.
Ines Claudia Hirwa shared her journey as a designer and her clothing line goals with IGIHE
“I started Seraphina with my partner Diane Umugwaneza, a friend who lives in Belgium. At the beginning it was really hard to choose a name for our clothing line but we decided to call it Seraphina in honour of my late Grandmother who was also a designer and tailor,” says Hirwa who lived in Belgium since 1995 when she was almost 4 years old.
After returning to Rwanda in September 2014, suggested by her friends who pushed her to create her own clothing brand and also realizing that the fashion industry was growing ,she noticed that the market was lacking some creations. Coupled with her failure to find particular fashions that she wanted, she ventured in designing and after 2 years in September 2016, Seraphina was launched.
“We want our clothes to be Made in Rwanda, support the economy of Rwanda and provide employment for local tailors and everyone who is involved in the industry. Most importantly, it is our pride to wear what has been made in our country,” she says.
The designer who makes pieces such as Crop-tops, Jumpsuits and others said that the market is very big and everyone can sell their designs. She urges all designers and tailors to invest in their skills and professionalism to be able to provide quality to their clients.
Seraphina started with a budget of Rwf3,000,000 with a team composed of two designers and one tailor. Today, given the many local clients and many orders from European countries, they are planning to grow accordingly by widening their team and opening more stores. As for now their clothes can be found at Bold Kigali on the 1st floor of Kigali Heights.
By Ivan Nyagatare