Sonia Mugabo’s design aesthetic is easy to place. Light, airy, easy to wear, prints and brilliant tailoring. After living in New York and working for Teen Vogue, Sonia had a front row seat witnessing what it meant to be a designer and she returned to Kigali in 2013, just in time for Kigali Fashion Week where she launched her brand.
My focus today are the things that stood out for me the when I had the chance to have a chat with her last month.
Easy to wear: this is the first thing I think of when I think of Sonia’s work. Long free dresses, shift dresses, off the shoulder tops and dresses, light airy and easy to wear pieces. Intentionally or not, Sonia’s designs define simplicity.
Prints: Sonia loves prints. And when I say prints, I don’t mean kitenge. Think hearts, stripes, florals. The kind of pieces that you look at that jump right at you. If you don’t believe me, see for yourself.
Good tailoring: Although I mostly wore lose pieces, If you look through Sonia’s online platforms you’ll see a number of “fit like a glove” jumpsuits and dresses. And which girl doesn’t love those!
Heritage: Sonia is very vocal about her love for Rwanda. At the end of every social media post, Sonia uses the #madeinRwanda. To the extent that she is working on a line of clothes for men in line with Gusimbuka Urukiramende which is related to high jump that started in Rwanda in the 1920’s. I saw some samples, and I’m certain the guys are going to love these.
Dressed in Sonia’s peices.
Photgraphy by my cousin, Bugo.