From Cameroon to the Netherlands, the designer Audrey Ngo Mgo – UZURI – keeps on proving  the world that the African Culture can be translated into the High- End Fashion and worn in any part of the world. This self- taught designer that have managed wining the MAF Fashion Battle and making two amazing collection in less than 1 year; I think will keep on surprising us for years to come. After interviewing her I am more than convinced that: “SHE IS HERE TO STAY!”

 

 

You have a background in International business, how did you end up being a designer? 

It sounds cliché, but fashion has always been my passion.  I started drawing in my teenage years. But no one knew that I was drawing. Then I let go of the drawing for a few years and picked it up again when I was about 18. In 2010 I finally decided that I wanted to do something within the Fashion world and started to seriously work towards that dream.

 

Looking at your work, there  are some architectural shapes, color blocking and bold colors. What inspires you? How do you make your ideas happen? 

When I start drawing I have a vision in mind. It can be a style, shape or I draw free-spirited. So I let the colors and patterns that are in the materials inspire me. This last option can only be done obviously if I bought the materials beforehand. But in most cases I first draw and then go and buy materials that fit within my vision. In every collection I’m inspired by something else.  This last collection is inspired by futurism, therefore the architectural shapes in some pieces. 

 

What distinct the brand Uzuri Couture from other High- End fashion brands?

Uzuri Couture stands out from the rest,  it gives you new cuts, shapes, patterns , is unique and is made out of the best (African)fabrics. You will always feel like a million bucks while wearing Uzuri Couture, with no fear of someone wearing the same piece; because every piece is made once (so far)!

 

Are your collections available in the stores? If yes, which stores? If no, any plans for the future?

No, they aren’t  available in stores yet. It’s undeniable that I would like to have them in stores, but it demands a lot and by God’s  grace that will all fall in place. 

 

 

Any plans in the near future for Menswear? 

Yes, I have been asked this question by a lot of men and I have seriously considered it. When I started I just wanted to do women’s wear, but along the way I have read, seen and heard that quite some men would like to be rocking Uzuri Couture and quite some women would like to dress their children in it.  So , yes I have plans for men!

 

How are you experiencing the Fashion industry as a young upcoming designer and what are your expectations for the future?

I’m seeing that a lot of people are really appreciating and liking my work, which is a blessing, because for a designer it is very difficult to know if people are going to like your work and if it will sell eventually. I have noticed that the industry is very open to new, fresh ideas and I can’t wait to show them what I have in store at each time. It will soon be 1 year since I started this journey and of course I haven’t been on my peek yet.  Every time I outshine myself and the plan for the future is to keep on doing so. Wowing people, make them see and wear  pieces that they haven’t seen before or ever imagined with African print.

 

What are you working on right now? ( projects)

I am now working on upcoming shows that I have these upcoming months. I wanted to expand my horizons, so I’m also wanting to present my brand on a bigger platform abroad.  

But besides that, like I have said above, I am planning on designing for men and children too. It won’t be as much as for women, because for now that’s my primary target group, but I will come out with some pieces  for children and men.

 

Interview by: Elize Thode

Photography: Attilio Brancaccio: www.attiliobrancaccio.com • Model: Sheila Amujal Eagle • Make-up: Trudi Nieuwwerf

 

 

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