Her childhood dream was to become a fashionista. Singing was her second passion. She has pursued these two relentlessly. And this resolve has paid off. Alida Baranyizigiye, the director of Dali Fashion Agency, is reshaping the fashion industry in Kigali.
After spending much of her childhood in Burundi, she returned to Rwanda in 2007. Four years later, she joined the fashion business. She also ventured into music.
Through singing and designing, Baranyizigiye has become one of the most recognised faces on Rwandan entertainment scene. Some of her popular tracks include Let It Go, Mama Land, Stay with Me, and Let Me Love You, featuring Tusker Project Fame season three winner Alpha Rwirangira.
From creating unique products to releasing great hits, the 30-year-old shared her story in an interview with Sarah Kwihangana.
Below are excerpts:
Do you consider yourself a fashionista?
Of course, I am a fashionista. I am a professional fashion designer and I own a clothing line called Dali couture. I am always in the know with the latest trends.
What are your favourite brands in general?
My favourite brands are my designs. I feel proud when I meet people wearing my collections. Besides that I love wearing some mango designer clothes; H&M etc. These brands are simple and cute.
When it comes to scents, what is your most desired scent of all time?
I love everything with a vanilla scent.
As far as fashion is concerned, what is your take on Rwanda’s fashion industry?
I am just new in Rwanda. I started operating just three months ago but already I have been selected to be part of the designers of the Kigali Fashion Week, which will take place in November. So I am yet to discover a lot of new things in this business.
Who is your favourite fashion designer both in Rwanda and internationally?
My favourite Rwandan fashion designers are Patrick Muhire, Suhaa Schmitz from Ikanzu and Cynthia Umurungi. These are friends and great designers full of talent. They are amazing.
Internationally, I definitely love Gianni Versace, Vera Ellen Wang and Kimora Lee Simmons.
Where do you like to hang out?
I love hanging out at Hotel des mille Collines, where I perform almost every evening and weekends.
If you were given a chance to choose a dream holiday destination, where would it be?
Humm! My dream holiday without thinking much would be Indonesia.
If you were to flip a coin and become a man what changes would you make?
If I had to be a man, I definitely think it won’t change anything because I am sure even women can change things. So why would I have to be a man to change anything? Maybe if I was a man I would for sure change my own mind and try to understand women more...laughs.
What’s your favourite brand as far as bags and shoes are concerned?
For the bags, my ideal choice would be Michael Kors collection and Christian Louboutin for the shoes. But I am also in love with Guess, Aldo and Nine West designs.
Do you wear makeup, what do you use?
Yes. I do wear makeup and I use everything in black up (foundation, powder, lipstick, eyeliner, blush, etc...). It’s my favourite brand.
Dinner dresses or jeans…. what do you prefer?
It would depend on the occasion but I love dresses for dinner and jeans when I have to run up and about.
Would you prefer to have a romantic dinner or a wild night out?
I would love a romantic dinner arranged in a wild night out, overlooking the stars! Hahaha!
What is your favourite shopping spot in Kigali?
I like Nakumatt because it is a one-stop-centre. I can get almost whatever I want without moving from one shop to another.