By Joan Semanda.
I recently attended Kampala Fashion Week, the second edition of its kind in Kampala that was initiated by Gloria Wavamunno, a fashion designer here in Kampala. This year, unlike last year, it was held in a room on Acacia Mall’s rooftop.
Walking in during the day and watching the team work methodically to have everything set for the evening was eye opening for me. Clearly this had taken months of preparation. Long pews of benches made by Awaka Furniture, the lighting set up, the staff in coordinating black outfits supervised by the LDJ team who flew in from New York to ensure a top notch event, everything was planned meticulously.
The set up was complete by the time I arrived in the evening, Uganda Waragi had put up a stall with signature cocktails and Spear Motors had a selection of beautiful cars in the parking lot for us to look at. People chatted while they waited for the show to begin; it was clear that the fashion scene in Uganda had grown and the fashion enthusiasts in attendance were looking forward to the night’s show.
We were finally let inside and seated. The decor looked industrial and rustic. Mood music played in the background as we waited to see the night’s designs. Jose Hendo, a designer based in the UK, opened the show with pieces accentuated with bark cloth. Haute Basco, two designers from Rwanda, made use of African prints and Rwandan body jewelry to accentuate the clean cuts of their, clearly, well thought-out line. Kwesh, whose collection was called Muted Granduer, worked in partnership with Kona and brought us a collection of pink and grey sequined pieces that were accentuated by white and grey coats; while Definition partnered with Cirra-Sue for their accessories and had a beautiful selection of well tailored coats with their signature quirky and fun localized wording.
While those are some of the designers that stood out in my opinion, overall I can say that the fashion industry in Uganda is fully awake. We are well on our way to become a force to be reckoned with.
I walked away looking forward to next year’s edition. Kudos to everyone who put their heads together for this event.
Photography by Giulio Molfese and myself.