By Joan Semanda.


Sonia Mugabo started her journey as a designer in 2013 after living in New York and doing an internship for Teen Vogue. She made it back to Kigali just in time for the first ever Kigali Fashion Week and, in so doing, launched her brand.

Her shop, which is located in Gishushu, in Kigali, is cozy and has a wide variety of prints and colour in every corner. Here is what stood out for me when I had the chance to sit down with her and have a chat.

off shoulder close

Photo Credit: Joan Semanda

Easy to wear: this is what comes to my mind first when I think of Sonia’s work. Long free dresses, shift dresses, off the shoulder tops and dresses, and light and easy pieces. Whether she intends it or not, Sonia’s designs define simplicity.

Looking at dresses

Photo Credit: Joan Semanda



Prints: Prints, prints and more prints! Hearts, stripes, florals. The kind of prints that will scream out at you. The pictures in this article should show you what exactly it is that I’m talking about.

Good tailoring: Although I mostly shot in lose pieces, if you look through Sonia’s Instagram page, you will see a number of “fit like a glove” jumpsuits and dresses.

Heritage: Sonia does not hold back when it comes to expressing her love for her country, Rwanda. At the end of every social media post, Sonia signs off with #madeinRwanda. Guys, be on the lookout because she plans to start a line for men titled Gusimbuka Urukiramende which stands for high jump, that started in Rwanda in the 1920’s.

Long dress back

Photo Credit: Joan Semanda

If you are outside of Rwanda and are looking for a Sonia Mugabo piece, she is working on getting her online shop up and running, and is finalizing on plans to stock up in Uganda and Kenya.

Dressed in Sonia’s pieces.

Be sure to check out Angela and I’s blog on where we write articles bi-weekly.

Till the next time!