Rwandan fashion designers we hope to see gracing this coming season of Kigali Fashion Week
Kigali Fashion Week is an annual fashion event that takes place twice a year. It is a platform that promotes Rwandan creative industry in fashion and modeling; the event attracts international attention with both designers and models from across the globe. This event was appointed as a founder member of the commonwealth fashion council in London.
This platform will open up a wider door for the Rwandan fashion industry in over 53 countries in the commonwealth. Kigali fashion week in partnership with Rwanda cultural fashion shows have created the first ever Rwanda fashion council, a regulatory body that will manage and promote the image of the fashion industry in Rwanda and the region as a whole.
Here are some bold Rwandan fashion designers to look out for this season;
Moses Turahirwa (Moshions)
Moshions is an elegant culturally inspired brand with a distinctive world-class taste. Since 2015, the award-winning brand has created clothing that celebrates Rwanda’s eclectic culture by a fusion of ancient motifs with contemporary designs. The brand recently launched their latest ‘Imandwa’, an expressive collection with interplay of traditional and contemporary aesthetics that celebrates fashion freedom of ancient generations from across the African continent, timelessly combining organic fabrics, natural dyes and high-end couture.
Linda Mukangoga and Candy Basomingera (Haute Baso)
Haute Baso is an ethical fashion brand for the modern individual looking for thoughtful, simple and functional designs. They are centered around the belief that “two heads are better than one” using fashion as a vehicle for positive change towards the empowerment of women and youth who are integral to their value chain while contributing to preservation of culture in Rwanda.
Matthew Rugamba (House of Tayo)
House of Tayo was created out of the desire to find a unique way through which to showcase African sophistication, style and flavor through contemporary, locally-made clothing and accessories. With style influences ranging from the Motown era to traditional British tailoring, House of Tayo seeks to combine elegance and class with a strong sense of African heritage and iconography, with their latest product being ‘Ijezi’ which has been rocked by various sports fashion lovers and celebrities from within and outside of Rwanda.
Teta Isibo (Inzuki)
Inzuki is a dynamic young Rwandan brand specializing in jewelry, accessories and interior decor that are handmade out of local materials. All products are Rwanda-made, Africa-inspired and globally-loved and are a fusion of traditional craftsmanship and contemporary style and their design philosophy seeks to transcend traditional Rwandan design and customize it to suit modern needs.
Olivier Niyitanga (TANGA DESIGNS)
Founded by Niyitanga, the brand name is derived from the suffix of his name “Tanga”, which means to Serve, Give and Spread. The primary focus of this innovative fashion brand is to highlight elegance, art, class and creativity and to mix modern and traditional design to create a unique and striking visual look, which will appeal to all trendy men and women who love to look good.
Nathalie Remera and Rwema Umutoni (UZI Collections)
UZI Collections was founded in July 2015 by Rwandans, Nathalie and Laurene, as a result of their passion and love for fashion. Their main focus is to create a brand of impact that empowers young people and to increase the economy of Rwanda through the fashion industry.
Sonia Mugabo (SM)
Mugabo is a businesswoman, fashion designer and fashionista in Rwanda. She is the founder and chief executive officer of the fashion label Sonia Mugabo, which is named after her. She launched her brand in 2013 and was later listed in 30-under-30 entrepreneurs by Forbes Africa and was featured in The New York Times. “Her designs are the epitome of effortless style, which every woman will admit is what we all look for in fashion.”Says Lucy Schalkwijk in her article on Rwandan women behind Rwanda’s homegrown fashion in 2020.
Khal D Dusingize (DD Designs).
This Rwandan designer and entrepreneur creates beautiful clothing for the stylish and modern individual. The brand expertly crafts suits using some of the finest fabrics, keeping their suit colors classic and sophisticated. Enabling the high quality fabric to take center stage.
Uwase Sarah (wasebysarahuwase)
This young entrepreneur enjoys designing wearable crochet, which she describes as sustainable fashion made for both locals and non-locals. Sarah’s goal is to equip single mothers around Rwanda with skills and jobs as they create the most unique and affordable crochet items one can possibly access.
If you’re looking to make personalized crochet garments and accessories then you might want to check her out. You can also find crochet reviews, crochet-alongs, and more on her social media pages.
Aline Amike (amike_e)
Multi-tasking as a model, actress, poet and a designer-beadsmith, Amike makes unique beaded headpiece and accessory designs and her work has been featured in several fellow designers’ and other artists’ projects including Elodie Fromenteau’s IZUBAA collection which was recently showcased in Ghana, and Rwandan artiste Kaya Byinshi’s music videos, among other collaborations.
Elodie Fromenteau (Izubaa)
Hugely inspired by the late 80’s and 90’s, IZUBAA is a made to order women’s wear brand with genderless pieces that specializes in oversize tailored suits. Mixing classic French tailoring with African fabrics such as the Kitenge from East Africa and the Kente from West Africa, IZUBAA is a fusion of cultures promoting diversity, inclusivity and self identity. “All our products are made in Rwanda by Rwandan artists with the purpose to offer locals more opportunities expanding Rwanda visibility internationally. It is targeted for the woman who dares, the woman who is not afraid to say what she thinks and the woman who believes in the power of clothing and style. She can be your sister, your mother or your auntie, the brand includes all women from different backgrounds, ages, colors and shapes. From 16 to 69, the IZUBAA lady is vibrant, sophisticated, fun, inspiring, bold, chic and oozes confidence.” Says the description on Izubaa’s website.
Ibyishaka D. Delphine