On the 15th September 2012 Ugandans in the UK will be flocking into Troxy Arena, 490 Commercial Road, London E1 0HX not only to celebrate the start of events that marks the 50th of Uganda’s Jubilee Anniversary. Attractions on the day is the fashion show where Ugandans top designers in the UK will be showcasing their new designs.
Fashions from the designers are presented in a fast-paced, live runway show. Guests will be treated to a fabulous display of elegant Africa oriented and high-end fashion in an array of categories from Busuuti to evening wear with a touch of Africa. This year’s Ugandan fashion extravaganza designer’s include:
Racheal Kisti, of Racheal Kisti designs. Her use of sumptuous fabrics, vivid colours and clothing culture frames the epitome of luxury enhanced by African influences through her clothes- An impressive yet practical achievement, considering she is a self-taught designer. Endorsing this sort of ambitious vision has helped Racheal’s foray into Fashion. Her previous collections showcased at Fashion4Africa, Africa Fashion Week London, Zed Eye show and featured in Pride and Black Beauty magazines. She has nominated a cult following among fashion lovers and continues to impress.
Connie Shalita Uwineza of Clisha makes bespoke and ready-to-wear clothes for the curvacious woman who is sexy, elegant and classy. This UK based designer originally from Uganda has been designing clothes for her brand for the last four years. Connie prizes her clothes on making the customer look unique and beautiful since she believes one can’t put a prize on fashion.
Judith Banya-Kyanda of Mikolo store has become a house-hold name in the diaspora not just among Ugandans but other nationalities alike due to the passion with which she has promoted Ugandan traditional wear from all areas including gomesis, omwenda, kanzu, kikoyi and Umshanana. She is also actively involved in promoting and preserving the traditional lifestyle including drums, jewellery, art and crafts, mats and rugs.
The mikolo store range will maintain the heritage of the brand, full of olubugo (organic bark cloth), and will also add vibrancy, print, colour and exuberance in élite fabrics that have attracted a multinational customer base to Ugandan traditional wear.
Today Ugandan fashion designers, both young and established, are fusing traditional African materials with Western contemporary styles, into a new trend dubbed “Afropolitan”—a melding of African and cosmopolitan. With an international customer in mind, they are blurring the boundaries between Africa and the West, proving that ancient Ugandan fashions can survive.