Best of 2017

The 40 Movers and Shakers of 2017

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Satisfashion UG presents the third annual list of movers and shakers. This time, we’re shaking things up a little though. This year’s list is honoring the tastemakers, boundary pushers, style makers, trendsetters and everyone setting the tone of the fast-growing fashion industry in Uganda.

The year has been a beehive of activity, a slew of highs and most definitely, a number of low moments. What has stayed constant is the unwavering passion these people have for what they do, and piecing together their collaborative effort is the fashion industry we have in Uganda now.

From artists, designers, beauty stars, bloggers, stylists and more, meet the shakers and movers of 2017.

  1. Brian Ahumuza (Entrepreneur/ Stylist)

Founder of the Abryanz Style and Fashion Awards, a growing platform celebrating and honoring excellence in Africa’s fashion industry, Ahumuza is undoubtedly a huge part of the driving force behind the future of the industry. Many of us might only be familiar with the glitz and glamour of the event, but don’t fall for that. This year’s event, for example, was themed ‘Fashion Takeover’, an awareness drive of what fashion can bring to the table in terms of employment opportunities and impact on the economy. One of their efforts was a partnership with SEED Show where young designers were equipped with expert tips on how to thrive as business people.

2. Aamito (Model)

Aamito Lagum continues to be the supermodel of our dreams. She landed the cover of Allure magazine alongside Dilone and Imaan Hammam photographed by Patrick Demarchelier. Shortly after, she was on Elle UK, this time photographed by Liz Collins. She also landed a slew of spreads in top-tier titles such as Vogue Mexico. Teen Vogue, W Magazine where she was styled by Edward Enninful, Elle Italia and Dazed and Confused Korea among others.

That wasn’t all, she took a trip to Kampala to organize her first model masterclass where she shared her extraordinary story with dozens of young up and coming models in Kampala. If there’s a force of change, it is Aamito. See all the expert tips she shared with the models here.

3. Gloria Wavamunno (Founder KFW/ Designer)

Gloria Wavamunno continues to actively work with and promote Uganda’s next generation of design talent. The fourth edition of Kampala Fashion Week held at Kampala Forest Resort in September yet again brought to our fold new creative talent. She and her team have a dream of Kampala being the fashion capital of East Africa, and we can’t be more proud that this is turning to fruition.

As a designer, she hasn’t stopped creating thought-provoking designs. Aptly called ‘W’, her SS18 collection presented at Kampala Fashion Week 2017 was unapologetically female.

“It had a line through it to symbolize the crucifixion of women and how they are unappreciated. The collection was inspired by being a woman in your natural form and loving yourself,’’ she shared an interview after the showcase.

4. Sheebah (Singer/ performer)

For the second year in a row, the 28-year-old singer/ performer is appearing on this list. Besides being a formidable popstar, Sheebah is steadily morphing into a fashion icon. The style maverick is famed for her platinum blonde wigs, boundary-pushing stage costumes and an equally extraordinary personal style. Fashion brands are already tapping into her unique personality and enviable social media following. In 2018, she plans on launching her own fashion line.

5. Fatumah Asha (Designer)

Fatumah Asha started out as a tailor 10 years ago but her brand has since evolved into a fully-fledged fashion house. After seizing the opportunity of Kampala’s busy social scene and a new phenomenon of red carpet style, her brand has grown to become one of the top fashion houses in Kampala. Just this year, she has had the opportunity to dress a number of women, many of whom being highbrow celebrities. These include Hellen Lukoma, Lydia Jazmine, Remah Namakula, Natasha Sinayobye, Sheilah Gashumba and many more. She shows no signs of stopping, see all her gorgeous red carpet gowns here.

6. Malaika Nnyanzi (Media personality/ Fashionista)

Nnyanzi is Satisfashion UG’s most stylish woman for 2017. The pages of this site and the people that view them love and adore this media personality. Revered for her sartorial choices on the red carpet, always collaborating with local designers to put them together and her quirky off-duty personal style, Nnyanzi is the real definition of a ‘fashion it-girl’. See how she landed the spot here.

7. Barbie Itungo Kyagulanyi (Celebrity)

Photo by Bicepts Photography/ Instagram

Wife of the musician now turned politician Bobi Wine, Mrs. Kyagulanyi has morphed into the Jackie Kennedy of our dreams. Her modern style sense adds a lighter side to what’s an otherwise heated political scene. She’s a brand ambassador of a couple of beauty brands and also managed to give us the best Christmas card of 2017.

8. Paul Mwesigwa (Model)

Mwesigwa is a South African based Ugandan model pursuing his dream of taking the modeling world by storm. He has featured in major campaigns, walked for high heeled fashion brands and also signed with an agency in New York.

9. Bettinah Tianah (TV host)

Tianah is not on NTV’s notorious show Style Project for nothing. Flipping through her Instagram profile is like viewing pages of a personal fashion magazine starring her. Her unique personal style and enviable following (339,000 followers by date of publication of this post) have earned her juicy collaborations with renowned fashion e-boutiques such as Fashion Nova. See her most game-changing Instagram moments of 2017 here.

10. Anyon Asola (Model)

This 19-year-old South Sudanese model from Uganda but now based in South Africa is slowly earning her stripes as the supermodel of the future. Just this year she has appeared on the pages of British Vogue, Elle South Africa, True Love magazine and walked in countless runway shows.

11. Anita Beryl

Anita Beryl Ahikiriza’s brand Beryl Qouture is breaking boundaries, setting trends and getting so much love from Kampala people in the process. Her couture is something akin to fairy tales (remember Judith Heard at the ASFAs). No wonder she was pitted against Brian Ahumuza for a Young Achiever’s award in the creative arts – fashion category.

12. Akello Patricia (model)

Akello is a Ugandan model based worldwide. Why? The young lady is like a kite, always flying across the Atlantic back and forth for shoots, runway shows, and more work. She has developed great relationships and a cult following of highbrow design brands such as Thom Browne. This year alone, she has walked for Christian Siriano, appeared in the pages of InStyle US magazine and also appeared in Rihanna’s groundbreaking Fenty Beauty campaign. Fenty Beauty went on to be named ‘Innovation of the year’ by Time magazine.

13. Ras Kasozi

Ras Kasozi

Kasozi was named ‘Designer of the year’ at the 2017 Abryanz Style and Fashion awards. He has thrived both as a designer and entrepreneur. SEED show, a collaborative project between Kas Wear (his design brand) and the U.S. Mission in Uganda has spotted and nurtured a new generation of design talent. Some of their products include NFKA by Olivia Nanfuka, Shuba Wear, and Say-Manda by Charles Brown Ssemanda.

14. Waiswa Ronald (model)

Waiswa is one of Kampala’s top male fashion models. He was booked for all shows at Swahili Fashion Week and did even better at Kampala Fashion Week. He’s a passionate young model with a great future ahead of him.

15. Joram Muzira (Model manager)

Muzira is a familiar name (and face) on this list. His work transcends just fashion but the entire entertainment industry in Uganda. He’s a show producer (Miss Tourism, Black Creations fashion show and more); model scout (Aamito, Paul Mwesigwa and more) and part-time TV star. He just can’t be put in a box. Together with Aamito, he organized the first model masterclass in Kampala.

16. Monalisa Umutoni (Makeup artist) 

Umutoni of Mona Faces is one of the most sought-after makeup artists in Kampala. Her profile includes work with fashion brands, celebrities and lots of bridesmaids. She organized a successful model masterclass and is a huge inspiration to many young people. See proof here.

17. Giulio Molfese (Photographer)

Molfese is a fashion photographer behind some of the most beautiful campaigns seen here. He has worked with and developed relationships almost everyone in the fashion industry. He also photographed top models such as Aamito before they earned their fame.

18. Nunu Mugyenyi of Bold in Africa (Entrepreneur)

Bold in Africa located at Acacia mall in Kampala and at Heights in Kigali is a retail outlet that sells a number of local fashion brands to the rest of the world.

19. Kaijuka Abbas (Designer/ stylist)

Kaijuka is one of the best menswear designers in Kampala. See his collection presented at Nigeria Menswear week here. This obviously stems from his unique personal style which extends greatly in his work. His womenswear collection presented at Swahili Fashion Week 2017 was inspired by ‘gypsies’.

20. Santa Anzo (Designer/ entrepreneur)

Anzo and her brand Arapapa continue to reign supreme in breaking boundaries and selling Ugandan fashion all over the world.

21. Samson Baranga (Blogger/ journalist)

Baranga continues to promote Ugandan fashion through his work as a journalist and fashion blogger. His genius has been tapped by the likes of CNN Voices to discuss the future of fashion in Uganda.

22. Lamic Kirabo (Blogger)

Kirabo is an award-winning photographer and fashion blogger. Her blog Third Local is carefully curated to represent Ugandan fashion in the best way possible. Her unique personal style and enviable following have so far done us nothing but justice.

23. Judithiana (Media personality/ Fashionista)

Judithiana is undoubtedly one of the most stylish women in Kampala. Her 39,000 Instagram followers are always treated to an extensive collection of flare pants, pleated skirts, and super cool dresses. This comes laced with beauty and style tips. No wonder beauty brands such as Zuri Luxury hair have her as their brand ambassador.

24. Fik Fameica (Singer/ performer)

This young singer is a trendsetter and style maker thanks to his boyish youthful personal style.

25. Edward Sempa (Designer/ Creative Director)

Looks from Catherine & Sons’ SS18 collection

Sempa is the creative director Catherine & Sons, a design brands that follows international ethical standards. They presented their latest collection at Kampala Fashion Week 2017 where he’s also the creative director of the event.

26. Solomon Tazibone (TV host/ Stylist)

Tazibone is an award-winning stylist and TV host behind the most viewed fashion TV show in Uganda. Together with his panelists, they discuss style, beauty, and the hottest trends. As a stylist, he uses his unique eye for detail and distinctive aesthetic to create stunning images for music videos and red carpet looks.

27. Bhavya Kalsi of KONA

Bhavya Kalsi of KONA (Photo by Third Local)

KONA is an accessories brand influenced by a mix of Ugandan and Indian cultures. This is hugely reflected in their bold prints, patterns, and colours. Kalsi and her team are building an accessories brand that can represent the two cultures everywhere in the world.

28. Sham Tyra Nalwanga

Nalwanga is one of the standout dressmakers of 2017 responsible for most of the red carpet looks for celebrities such as Crystal Newman, Ellah, Nadia Matovu and Instagram star TK Berriez.

29. Michelle Omamteker

Omamteker through her Malengo Foundation is using fashion to create change. Malengo Foundation organizes an annual fashion show where models and creatives of all physical and intellectual abilities showcase their talents. Malengo is one of the biggest inclusion outreach platforms supporting the growth of local talent in Uganda.

30. Sheilah Gashumba (TV host)

Sheilah Gashumba

As one of the most stylish young ladies in Kampala, Gashumba is always using this fame to promote local designers. At the 2017 BET awards, she walked the red carpet in a custom Ankara print mermaid gown by Ras Kasozi.

31. Nsubuga Ronnie (Model manager)

Nsubuga is a model scout and pageant coach behind some of the best fashion models in Kampala. He spotted and signed Anyon Asola, who is a success story in the making.

32Haasacha Emolsa (Fashionista)

Haasacha is renowned for his eccentric personal style and ‘internet breaking’ red carpet looks.

33. Ivan Ssebuuma (Photographer)

Ssebuuma is slowly growing a profile of a powerful fashion photographer. He has produced a slew of stunning images through his collaborations with up and coming stylists and models.

34. Christine Akello Bradshaw of Tina Brad store (Stylist)

Akello was named ‘Stylist of the year’ at the 2017 Abryanz Style and Fashion Awards thanks to her unique eye and access to an extensive collection of beautiful dresses. She’s the image maker of a number of local celebrities.

35. Emanuel Bagwana (Designer/ Photographer)

Bagwana is the creative director of Eguana Kampala, a design brand that celebrates Africa’s glorious prints. He’s the force behind 40 Models 40 Days, a unique concept that gives young Ugandan models a platform to get noticed.

36. Danieline Moore of Glitz by Nalu (Entrepreneur)

Glitz by Nalu is barely a year old having been opened just this year. However, it is one of the standout design brands of the year. The brand is a brainchild of Danieline Moore, a former Miss Liberia, and fashion model. Moore’s love for fashion stems from her mother who was a fashion retailer. Her goal is to offer all African women an opportunity to look beautiful as they embrace their curvy bodies. All pieces offered at Glitz by Nalu are elegant, timeless and celebrate femininity.

37. Grace Nafuna Amarachi (Blogger)

Amarachi is a fashion blogger who isn’t afraid of taking risks both in her writing and also her style choices. She has ruffled a few feathers a couple of times, but that, we believe is what makes her what she is.

38. Buyi Phillip Kkoolo (Designer)

Buyi brings something fresh and new to the table. His brand Kkoolo explores the dynamics of style and function. Clothes from the brand have been seen on the bodies of Kenyan group Sauti Sol.

39. Charles Brown Ssemanda (Designer)

Ssemanda is the young designer behind Say-Manda, a new fashion brand that was birthed through Ras Kasozi’s SEED show. After winning the show in 2016, he returned this year as a fully-fledged designer to present his debut collection at Kampala Fashion week

40. Kabunga Mavo of Mavo Kampala (Stylist)

He’s a passionate fashionista who isn’t afraid of wearing a pleated skirt on the red carpet and also double as a fearless stylist.


What are your thoughts on this year’s list of movers and shakers? Sound off in the message box below.

Portraits by Brussels Luutu

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