Sylvia Owori talks new vintage collection and her insipiration
East Africa’s leading fashion designer and entrepreneur yet again launched her new vintage collection recently which had many wearable pieces in colourful African fabric. The new line was launched at the monthly fashion event dubbedLate Night Shopping. Late Night Shopping is the Fashion Night Out party in Kampala which is aimed at giving designers chance to mingle with customers, buyers and fashion enthusiasts. The event is also a brain child of Sylvia.
She spoke to us about the new collection
Africa Fashion Guide: What inspired this new collection?
Sylvia Owori: This collection was inspired by old vintage pieces always found in Owino market. Owino market is the biggest local market in Kampala. It’s the go to place for second hand clothes. There always many vintage wearable pieces people get from the market. I many times visit this market too.
AFG: Why did you decide to go the ethical way this time?
SO: Well I’ve always championed for global environmental change and which way could I do it than with my designs. You can see that the dyes and the print were purely African. My fabrics are tailored from my workshop in Mukono. I make it a point to follow up on what I use from the start to the finishing point.
AFG: How is the reception so far regarding the new collection?
SO: The reception is amazing. We launched it just two weeks back but everyone is running for the pieces. They are timeless and can never go out of fashion.
AFG: As Africa Fashion Guide we champion for the use of African cotton and ethical fashion as a whole what is your take on ethical fashion?
SO: I’m behind you on this. I use a lot of cotton from Uganda here. All the dyes we use are organic as well. It is the only way we can keep our African umbrellas up.
AFG: How did you select your fabrics, before and after you rolled up your collection?
SO: My fabrics are all African inspired. I’ve done collections inspired by my influences with Europe but this particular one was inspired by my African heritage. The colours and patterns are all African.
AFG: And what do you look for while choosing fabric?
SO: I always pick fabric that is comfortable and light given the weather in East Africa.
AFG: We saw lots of prints, what do you feel African designers should do to still keep prints in vogue?
SO: Some of the African prints are a bit too busy but that is the whole beauty of it all. They are unique and stand out. I believe they’ll never go out of fashion. Many fashion houses in Europe get the inspiration from what we do as well. African designers should just keep it African. We make beautiful clothes.
AFG: How have you managed to build the SYLVIA OWORI brand to becoming one of East Africa’s fashion powerhouses?
SO: For me it has always been through hard work and dedication. I love what I do and have never imagined doing something else. So I give it my all.
AFG: What should Africa look forward to from Sylvia Owori this year?
SO: Africa should watch out for us this year. With Late Night Shopping we shall be launching something new each month. First it was the vintage collection; now expect something new next month. A lot of things are happening behind the closed doors.
AFG: How can we get our hands on these pieces?
SO: We launched our own online shop on the 23rd of February this year. You are able to order for these and many of what we have from the online shop. For now visit www.myasho.com . It’s the online shop we are working with.
YOU CAN NOW BUY ITEMS ONLINE with delivery from http://sylviaowori.co.ug/v_boutique.php
Photo credit: Giulio Molfese/Photo4Fashion 2013
Photo shoot art direction: Parallax Project Uganda
Interviewed by Hassan Ssentongo for www.africafshionguide.com