House of Tayo's flash of fame in Hollywood


Nyong'o opted for a three piece suit of black contrast lapels and wax print lining by Rwandan designer Matthew Rugamba, for Black Panther's star-studded world premiere, Monday night in Los Angeles. / Courtesy

Peter Junior Nyong’o, a younger brother to Oscar-winning actress Lupita Amondi Nyong’o, accompanied his sister to the premiere of Black Panther, which took place in Los Angeles on January 29.

Matthew Rugamba, founder and creative director of House of Tayo, said making the suit for Peter Junior Nyong’o gave them credibility and showed that high quality and well designed products come out of Rwanda.

Donned in a three piece suit of black contrast lapels, wax print lining and specially embroidered elbow patches, Nyong’o made heads turn. But unknown to some at the red carpet event, the stunning outfit had been made and shipped all the way from Kigali by House of Tayo, a menswear brand that seeks to showcase Africa in its best form.

Matthew Rugamba, the founder and creative director of House of Tayo, revealed that it took a lot of work and sleepless nights to design the suit specifically for Junior. The local fashion house had to make and deliver the suit to Hollywood in one week once Junior approved the concept.

“My team and I had some sleepless nights trying to make sure we were able to deliver. We usually do 1-3 fittings for our custom suits; however due to little time and distance that wasn’t possible. We used his measurements and made some estimates based on photos of him and thankfully the suit fit him perfectly. We knew it was a huge opportunity to put the brand out there so we did everything in our power to make it happen,” Rugamba said.

He added that Black Panther is one of the biggest movies that will be screened this year and having one of their designs at the premiere meant putting their brand out there and showing the world that high quality and well-designed products can come out of Rwanda. The local fashion industry is among the key areas that government looks to support under the Made-in-Rwanda campaign.

The premiere of the most anticipated movie in 2018 attracted the cream of Holy wood celebrities. Lupita Nyongo stars in the Marvel Studio’s Black Panther, which is set to hit theaters on February 16.

The movie premiere featured Hollywood’s leading Black actors and actresses like Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, and Michael B. Jordan and guests like Isaa Rae and Janelle Monáe who wholly embraced the requested dress code of “African Royalty.”

Hollywood actress, Lupita Nyong’o in a warrior-inspired Versace gown, while her brother was dressed by House of Tayo, a local fashion house./ Courtesy