The iconic London Fashion Week A/W 2011 saw the best of African designs grace the catwalk, when Ugandan designer Gloria Wavamunno showcased her collection at the A ‘la mode show at London’s The Strand Hotel Charing Cross. Monica Hayward met with the designer after her showcase debut.
Gloria we are happy to see your designs on the catwalk here in London especially during the biggest fashion event in the world – London Fashion Week. How are you feeling?
I am very overwhelmed and excited to have been personally invited to showcase my collection and to be sponsored by big UK brand names; Aldo and Weaverbird was a great privilege. I am grateful for all the support and appreciation I receive for my designs.
Your collection ”Not a dream my soul mate” has received a lot of complimentary reviews. Talk us through your designs?
I use a lot of organic materials in my designs especially African textures and fabrics all sourced from Uganda, as a result there’s different prints and colours on the catwalk today. The vibrant bustier print tops, camel skirts, flamboyant dresses plus the sharp-blazers all have an African feel to them. My collection is all ready to wear and available to order on my website by clicking on the lookbook.
A lot of Ugandan designers are now gracing foreign catwalks. Is it getting more competitive to be a designer now?
I think we are all trying to do individual things and are creative in our own right therefore no competition at all, besides we derive our inspirations from different things, mine is through personal style and love for certain eras say the 50’s which I like.
How exciting was it to be named amongst the top African designers by Haute fashionAfrica.com and also be favourite for Arise magazine?
Being named amongst other amazing African designers was such an honour and shows a lot of support from fellow Africans appreciating my work, which was amazing.
You set up Kampala Fashion Week, Uganda’s first fashion event of its kind. How is that progressing?
I launched it to help promote Ugandan designers and artistry on a grander scale but it’s a project that needs more support from my fellow Ugandans to make it even a bigger success. Its aim was to provide coverage and a springboard for talented designs and raw artistry to showcase their work during the biggest fashion event in the country.
We also noticed some slogan t-shirts in this collection, tell us more about them.
The slogan t-shirts are part of my designs campaigning for Trade against aid and solidarity to Africa. It’s another way of spreading the word through my fashion and designs. Africa needs more trade opportunities to progress.
What’s your next project after London?
Am off to the USA to showcase this collection and hopefully will get the same response as I’ve had here in London. My fans can also order for these beautiful designs through my website by clicking on the lookbook (http://lookbook.nu/user/69498-Gloria-W).
By Monica Hayward
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