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Nassali has struggled all the way to the US Fashion Week

By Glorias Musiime

Added 20th August 2019 01:26 PM

I started my career three years ago while in Uganda, but my love for fashion started way back when I was still a child. I used to recycle my sister’s old clothes and wear them.

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Sarah Nassali busy sewing clothes in her boutique behind are some of her products. Courtesy photo

I started my career three years ago while in Uganda, but my love for fashion started way back when I was still a child. I used to recycle my sister’s old clothes and wear them.

FASHION

USA- Sarah Nassali is a Ugandan living in the US. She is a fashion designer, specialising in African fashion. She was recently selected to showcase her products at the Fashion Week in New York City.

Despite a challenging background, Nassali has weaved her way to the top. She spoke to Glorias Musiime about her career.

Who is Nassali?
I was born 24-years ago to Mustafa Lukwago and Janat Nabbanja of Kyebando, Nansana in Wakiso district. I am married to Anthony McDonald. We live in St. Louis Missouri, USA where I am doing my fashion business.

When did you start this career and what attracted you to it?
I started my career three years ago while in Uganda, but my love for fashion started way back when I was still a child. I used to recycle my sister’s old clothes and wear them.

 arah assali taking measurements of one of the clothes she had made ourtesy photo Sarah Nassali taking measurements of one of the clothes she had made. (Courtesy photo)

 

Why did you choose fashion?
I loved fashion designing since I was little.

So you used to recycle old clothes?
Yes. With my mother, we used to recycle old clothes into something for me to wear and nobody could recognize it was old material.

So were you inspired by your background?
Partly yes. I also used to watch big fashion designers like Giogio Armani, Coco Chanel. I wanted to do exactly what they were doing, only that I was using a needle and thread to sew everything with my hands.

Then how did you end up in the USA?
I had been doing my fashion designs for two years when my husband took me to America. When I reached here, my husband introduced me to people who loved and still support my products.

What is your plan?
I want to introduce African fashion to the rest of the world.

 arah assali dressed in one of the dresses she made ourtesy photo Sarah Nassali dressed in one of the dresses she made. (Courtesy photo)

 

What exactly do you make?
I do African print mixed with plain fabric. It is called a multi-cultural brand, mixing the dress styles of people around the world.

What exactly are doing in the fashion week and how did you get nominated?
I am representing my brand called Nassali wear a multi-cultural clothing brand. My husband connected me to Plitzs New York fashion week; they interviewed me, loved my work and selected me.

How do you stay up-to-date regarding fashion?
I always keep myself on the computer trying to find trending fashions and also sketching my own work.

What do you consider important in fashion?
To be one of the best fashion designers because my hand made work makes my customers satisfied.

How did you meet your husband?
We met in Uganda in 2015 when I was working as a waitress in one of the restaurants in Kampala. While dating, I showed him the work I had made with my hands; he was so impressed and asked me to find a school.

Did you proceed to a training school as he requested?
I tried YMCA but did not go there. I got a lady called Winnie who trained me.

Where do you get material from?
I buy fabrics from the US and import others from China.

  model donning on a dress made by arah assali ourtesy photo A model donning on a dress made by Sarah Nassali. (Courtesy photo)

 

Any message to the youth out there?
Have hope and follow your dream, fall in love with what you are doing and do not be afraid of being yourself and unique.

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