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Bless Mazarura's Fashion Revolution

By Sara Wailgum

If there is one word that defines fashion designer Blessing Mazarura’s Bless by Bless Couture brand, it is love. By blending his passions for both design and philanthropy, Mazarura — or Bless, as many call him — has established and built a brand, and an army to go along with it, that radiates messages of faith, hope, and love.

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Mazarura began to appreciate creativity and design at a young age. As a 12-year-old, Mazarura, with his mother’s assistance, began recreating looks he saw on television and in music videos. Inspired by these designs, Mazarura would spray-paint and draw on the clothing he purchased, or he would cut and sew fabrics together and attach hoods.

“My mom was the one that basically told me that you don’t have to reinvent anything in fashion — it’s all been done,” said Mazarura. “You’re simply altering what already exists.”

Although he always had an interest in design, Mazarura didn’t originally consider fashion design as a career path. When he was growing up in Zimbabwe, fashion design as a profession simply did not exist, and similar occupations such as tailoring were often chosen by women. In addition, Mazarura explained that in a third-world country, many parents encouraged their children to pursue steady, respected professions such as banking, medicine, and teaching.

After ultimately deciding to study graphic design, a career that would blend both his creative and his artistic talents with computer technology, Mazarura moved to the United States to attend Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, Massachusetts. Mazarura learned the fundamentals of drawing, color, and symmetry while attending college in the States. After graduating from college and working in the field designing book covers, business cards, and websites, Mazarura realized he really was not in love with 2-D design.

“I read a book and it said to write the things you love and write the things you’re good at in two columns — left you love and right you’re good at — and try to connect them,” said Mazarura. 

After looking at the two lists, he saw connections that included photography, modeling, fashion, drawing, music, video production, philanthropy, and raising awareness for the things he believed in; these collectively influenced him to launch his own fashion brand that exuded luxury, yet made a positive impact on the world.

“I decided that as far as my mission and my purpose — having the name Blessing — I would create a line that was motivated and based on the idea of spreading love,” said Mazarura.

He used his art school background to establish his fashion line by selling graphic t-shirts, sweatshirts, and simple dresses to small boutiques; Mazarura then realized it was harder to communicate his brand’s message to customers through a third party, so he decided to relaunch Bless by Bless Couture on his own. After taking three years off to learn how to sew, Mazarura expanded his line to include dresses, skirts, jackets, t-shirts, and tank tops. In the past few years, Mazarura has also designed private uniform collections for hotels, including The Envoy Hotel and Revere Hotel in Boston and Hotel Indigo in Newton.

In his latest spring collection, Mazarura — whose muse is a rock star, activist, and saint — has designed many luxurious, minimalistic pieces that are gender neutral. In addition, many of his designs have a military aesthetic and are made of textiles such as neoprene blends and crêpe, with embellished metallic lace detailing. Made of rigid fabrics, many of his garments are composed of angular, asymmetrical silhouettes.

Mazarura considers one innovative piece to be the staple of the whole collection. Made of a lightweight, breathable, water-repellant fabric, this jacket is incredibly versatile — it can be worn to the gym with sneakers, it’s lightweight and perfect for traveling, and it can even be dressed up to wear to dinner.

Although he currently resides in New York City, Mazarura splits part of his time between Los Angeles and Boston. Located north of the city, Mazarura’s studio space is in Lawrence, Massachusetts, where most of the brand’s manufacturing takes place. Mazarura is inspired more by what he sees people wearing in real life than by what he sees in magazines or on red carpets. 

“I want to get inspired from the streets up, as opposed to the media down,” said Mazarura.

After getting involved with various charity events, Mazarura began referring to his volunteers as his “Army of Love,” and the name stuck. Now called the Triple B Army of Love, the group fights for peace, love, and humanitarianism through charity, fashion, music, and random acts of kindness. Those who want to join the movement can do so by sending good energy out into the world, and by posting a positive message or a random act of kindness on social media and tagging the Triple B Army of Love. By joining the movement, members will receive an access code for a discount off their Bless by Bless Couture purchase.

Since it was formed, the Triple B Army of Love and Mazarura have raised over $1 million through philanthropic partnerships with charities that have included the American Cancer Association, Christopher’s Haven, Susan G. Komen, and the Jimmy Fund.

“I genuinely am trying to build something that’s bigger than fashion, and it’s going to sound bad, but the fashion aspect is basically a vehicle of actually transporting or communicating my obsession with the idea that we could really all love each other,” said Mazarura.; @blessbybless

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