Comparison between Kenya and Uganda in terms of fashion?
Isabel Nyamgero : Ugandans love dressing , A Ugandan will wake up in the morning she is going to the shop but she will even do her makeup tie her head , when I was doing my A-level , I did my A-levels in Uganda , I remember there was a time I remained back in school and I was in town C.B.D and see this person who looks very familiar and I can ‘t recognize him and he is just saying hey how are you?
He is dressed very well and he is in a suit and he having his brief case and I am like who is this? so I just said hey nicely, the next day when I was in school , actually this is when it hits me when I see the guard at the gate and even the way he is greeting me hey , how are you? Did you finish shopping what you were shopping and I am like oh my goodness it was you he was looking very sharp even his walking style let me tell you here you find watchman now they will not disappoint you with the way they dress because they will look like watchman even in their daily dressing, so when you go to Uganda you will not tell who is the office person? Who is the watchman?
That’s to tell that they appreciate dressing they appreciate looking good, Kenya we don’t appreciate it much now we have joined certain trends in different parts Kenyans will go to a wedding with jeans, when the industry start growing that’s when they want to do a nice black dress, want to do kitenge but Ugandans appreciate fashion and I think their fashion is far much more than ours.
Is just us we love to do made to measure, them they do off the shelf, off the shelf sells more there, so you find they have designers their designers are very good, here we know more of our fundi’s they are so called fundi’s, off the shelf you will find most people will buy from second hand but I find they love fashion they love dressing up compared to Kenya.
Do you have any advice for upcoming designer?
Isabel Nyamgero : Be open minded , and always know you are not the only designer on earth people are upcoming and there people who have come before you, the challenge we face as designers is i will do a very nice creation but in my head I don’t want to share it ,and I spend that challenge a lot here in Kenya ,because designers we do not love each other we always feel like someone is a threat , yes we have always been great with different strength ,
I might be great with strength of working with glass , be great with strength of working with beads, someone else with silver, and if we don’t share our knowledge there is no way we are going to build our generation and that’s why Kenya is also shocking, so as an upcoming designer is one do not listen to voices around you , coz those things pulls you down and if when you are a creative people will not understand your vision until they see it ,
one or two people around you will understand but when you are creative it is a struggle when people don’t see what you see, so you have to push yourself not to listen to voices around you to always know this is my vision do not give up on your vision don’t give up on your goal .and another thing is consistency wake up and do it if you have been waking up at 8 everyday , wake up at 8 do it even when you don’t feel like doing it, create even when you don’t have market ,
when you don’t have anything you are doing create create because there will come a time when you will be so busy and you want to create on your off peak is what you will need , create create don’t listen to the voices around you consistency consistency even when things are looking bad there is always a way out even without money you are creative find something to do use papers , use grass ,use whatever and don’t stop keep going coz i know i stopped and it really pulled me down I stopped because of those voices but for upcoming never stop keep going.
Your closing remarks
Isabel Nyamgero: currently I am doing it online, and I am on discussion with one or two people to stock my pieces in their shops but currently I will be found online in face book handle they can use my name or iss, iss by iss studio , but then I will be putting soon on the page as well my direction to the shop that I will be partnering with incase there is anything new .my closing remarks is just to encourage not just designers but everyone ,
I know myself I have learnt a lot from my failures but my failures have always been not that I doubted myself, but the voices around me the circumstances around me are the one that made me doubt myself but inside me I always knew , closing remarks are for the people outside there do not ever stop on believing in yourself don’t stop believing in your vision consistency, consistency that is what will get you there if I knew this I don’t think iss would be but I failed to wake up those are my closing remarks.
Content Courtesy Of Iss By Iss Studio & Nairobi Fashion Hub