Sylvia Owori is one of today’s leading figures in East Africa’s Fashion, media, and modeling industries, famous for both her entrepreneurial skills as well as for her creative talent.
Her break into fashion happened when she took on the challenge of revitalizing the ‘Miss Uganda Beauty Pageant’, (2001-2004) which following her input became one of the most significant events on the Ugandan social calendar. She also revealed her innovative talent by designing outfits for the contestants of the M-Net Face of Africa in Dar es Salaam (2000) and Cape Town, which resulted in immense acclaim from the public as well as from fashion critics. Following this positive feedback, Sylvia was appointed to design the Nokia Face of Africa’s Ugandan finalist’s outfit in 2001.
Sylvia Owori, the brand, launched in 2004 and provides a range of prêt-a-porter exclusively on sale in the flagship store in Kampala and in an outlet in Nairobi. Described as a balanced mix between smart and elegant outfits for work and trendy casual wear for leisure, her label is all designed with sophisticated and modern working women in mind.
Most recently Sylvia Owori launched an Uganda Organic Collection which she showcased in Italy.
This collection represents Uganda and the rich cotton that is grown from its fertile soils. It depicts fashion with an aspect of environmental friendliness exuding from Uganda. Sylvia Owori, therefore contributing to the development of the society. This collection is very special to Sylvia Owori, and has a theme of ‘fashion with a purpose’!
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.
Renowned Ugandan designer Sylvia Owori was earlier this year(2011) named ambassador for the USA based Alicia Keys founded charity Keep a Child Alive. As well as this Sylvia Owori is the founder and chairperson of the Sylvia Owori foundation. Started in 2010, the charity foundation which is a non profit organisation, aims to raise awereness and resources for different causes within Uganda and the African continent at large.
One of the projects under this foundation is THE WABIBI COMMUNITY PROJECTS. This is a current project that involves training of local communities mainly women to produce textiles and crafts among other products in mass for export and sale within Uganda. This project aims to create holistic approach to community development through facilitating a workforce to produce textiles, art works and crafts which will be marked through the Sylvia Owori brand.
It has a strong benefit to the women and their communities as it provides practical skills such as tailoring, beading, craft work and life skills thus empowering them to support themselves in the future. The foundation also reinvests a percentage of earnings from products sold into the community.
Sylvia’s recent collection and project is a new line of bags called, HUNT AND GATHER , CUT AND SEW. It is a recycled denim collection offering exclusivity and individuality using 100% recycled raw materials to create one of a kind items that are fashion forward and eco- friendly. They bags are all lined with recycled mens shirts and pajamas where the prints are hand selected. The bags are made by women in community based villages in Uganda and Sylvia is working with an agent in the UK to have them available online.
Our favourite at AFRICA FASHION GUIDE is the quilted denim pieces especially the ‘LOVE’ piece! What is your favourite?
For more information on her recycled projects and more then please check out her foundation website:
Do also read up more on her label at: