In our partnership with African Street Style and Fashion Blog Vakwetu, we present an interview with talented Ugandan designer, Gloria Wavamunno.
Vakwetu caught up with Ugandan Fashion Designer Gloria Wavamunno. Based in Kampala, from where she runs her label GloRia WavaMunno.
V: When did you discover your love for designing? What made you want to become a fashion designer and/or start Gloria Wavamunno designs?
G: I discovered my love for designing in quiet a cliché story, which was when I was a child. I’m lucky I didn’t really think there was anything else I wanted or could do/be, once I embraced myself as a artist, that was the way I wanted to express myself as a artist. Starting my own label was always a dream i wanted, and that dream first got its kick after I graduated from University and I was in a work placement at Ozwald Boateng, a menswear Ghanaian/British designer, watching him everyday at his label, the passion, drive and love he displayed, I must admit gave me that little push to say, I believe I have that passion and want to create too.
V: What is the concept behind Gloria Wavamunno designs?
G: The concept behind the pieces are individuality, we live in such a diverse world, people of all kinds of characters, looks, lifestyles. GloRia WavaMunno is for everyone, every kind of woman who wants to look like herself, feel like herself, be herself. We do live in a world that at times tells you who to be, how you should look, feel. My clothes are not here to tell you who you are and all that, they are just here for you to be, be you, whatever that is.
V: Who is your favourite African designer and Name your favourite fashion designer in general?
G: I don’t have a favorite anything to be honest; things are always changing, evolving, so i like to keep a open mind to things. But I am a fan of Ozwald Boateng, when liking things i look at things in a whole, all aspect of that thing, the little details to people count to me, because it makes the whole. I do admire the late Alexander McQueen, his vision for his work was and will always be in-explainable beauty. I love that the unexplainable.
V: What inspires your designs?
G: Gosh Emotions and dreams, I believe two of the things every being has. My emotions get the best of me, but that’s where my pieces come from, how i start seeing color palettes. How I piece together fabric textures. I understand clothes are for individuals to wear and get on with their lives. But my work is pieces of my life created into clothing. A creating them are my dreams.
V: What person are you designing for?
G: The individual woman, who is everyone. I cant say I’m designing this particular way for this particular person, I just design and I hope whom ever wishes to wear my work feels free to do so.
V: Are items available for sale in stores in Africa. If so where? (Please provide name of store and address). And where in the Diaspora?
G: At the moment I am not online, but do have a Boutique in Kampala, Uganda, on Jinja Road, plot 22 @Spear House. But by the end of this year I will have a online store available.
V: What is a fashion designers best accessory?
G: Ha ha, I don’t know what other designers best accessory are but mine is glasses, sunglasses or spectacles. Bit of a unhealthy obsession.
V: What is your goal in tems of your fashion label. What do you ultimately want to achieve?
G: I cant say really, as I am a take each day as it comes, but I hope for my company to grow, expand and evolve, market wise and production. i just want to be able to create the amazing pieces I see in my head. Everything else I do believe comes when people see the love and care you have for your work.
G: I believe we are growing, and that’s an amazing thing to see right now, and be in the mix of, the Continent is opening up, and the creating industry is gaining some respect globally. South Africa has done a great job in getting global attention for African designers, that has been quiet amazing to see in the past months. We have a lot of beauty in Africa why not be the ones to share it with others and within ourselves.
V: What advice would you give anyone trying to pursue a career as a fashion designer?
G: You have to have dedication because it still is a career that within Africa is not taken too seriously, on top of how hard the fashion industry business is in general, I mean I understand there is a lot going on within Africa, that creating clothes does not seem a priority, but referring back to individuals, some people heal, other people create, that is the beauty of human beings, we are all here to do what we do best, and should respect one another for it, whatever it maybe, there is a purpose to everything, whether or not you can see it. So with that be strong, if you love it pursue it, what do you have to lose. It’s your dream.
See More of Gloria’s Work Here: http://www.gloriawavamunno.com/