We occasionally stumble upon some noted African designers such as this one where we cannot pass the chance to share. Sylvia Owori, Ugandan designer, describes her designs as a balanced mix between smart and elegant outfits for work and trendy casual wear for leisure, all designed with sophisticated and modern working women in mind.
She has established herself at the grass-root level and when one talks of fashion in Uganda, her name pops up first. For the 11 years she has been in the local fashion industry, she inspires nearly all the upcoming designers.
Here is one of her previous Uganda Organic Collection. Themed ‘fashion with a purpose’! The collection represents Uganda and the rich cotton that is grown from their fertile soils. It depicts fashion with an aspect of environmental friendliness exuding from Uganda. Sylvia Owori, therefore contributing to the development of the society.
The other aspect to this collection is the ‘paper beads’. These beads are made from coloured paper by the rural women in Uganda. This empowers their lives, as employment is created and poverty eradicated in Uganda.
Sylvia Owori not only creates stunning collections but is also keen on community development through various projects. In 2011, she was named ambassador for Alicia Keys’ founded charity “Keep a Child Alive” in addition to founding and chairing the Sylvia Owori Foundation in 2010 which aims to raise awareness and resources for various causes in Uganda and other African countries. One of her projects core aim, named the Wabibi Community Project, is a fair trade initiative that involves a holistic approach to community development through facilitating a local workforce to produce crafts and textiles among other things. Willing participants from different communities are identified, trained and skilled to produce clothing, jewelry, textiles, bags and more crafts.
The project provides practical skills such as tailoring, beading, hand work, craft work and life skills to community members thus not only facilitating them to produce under Sylvia Owori but also empowering them with functional and life skills for a lifetime. The project in this way supports stable incomes but also potential self employment opportunities for members in the future. The project is a transitional one in which members are not encouraged to rely on handouts but rather utilize their acquired skills for job creation. The pilot project in Mukono in Central Uganda has over 250 individuals mostly women from women headed homesteads.
One of her recent collection called “Hunt and Gather, Cut and Sew” uses recycled denim creating a collection offering one of a kind items that are most importantly eco-friendly. The bags are all lines with recycled mens shirts, pajamas where prints are hand selected made by women in comity based villages in Uganda.
Designer, community developer and environmentalist, here is her “Hunt and Gather, Cut and Sew” collection.