Being perceived as a spectacle is often an after effect of getting a taste of success in the limelight, and while most like to believe in the concept of an “overnight success” according to Matthew ‘Tayo’ Rugamba, someone who has been deemed one himself, there is no such thing. During a recent conversation with The Long Form, a weekly podcast of The New Times, the fashion entrepreneur was asked if the perception that his professional success can be attributed to the privileged family he comes from might discourage to aspiring entrepreneurs that haven’t had the same opportunities, to which he responded with the fact that he can’t change that perception. Also read: House of Tayo’s popular Ijezi comes of age Tayo reminisced on how scarce and barely existent the fashion scene was in Rwanda when he began developing his brand prompting his decision to collaborate with other emerging designers at the time to promote the fashion industry through yearly collective Rwanda fashion shows that also empowered new designers through paid participation in the fashion shows. Tayo views breaking professional barriers as another way to encourage aspiring creatives, and one of the more notable ways he has done that recently is with the suits he has designed consecutively for Junior N’yongo on both premieres of the widely popular Black Panther movie. Furthermore, he shared that aspiring creatives need examples of success to look up to in the face of adversity, and that is one of the things he strives to achieve. “If someone has this perspective of me, I don’t think anything I say in this interview will change it. The work that we have done hasn’t just been for House of Tayo, and when I did the Black Panther suit, it wasn’t just for House of Tayo. It was so that other Rwandans who want to get into the industry have an example to show those discouraging them that there is a path. I feel like the most difficult thing for kids entering the industry is having examples,” says the fashion entrepreneur. Read also: Celebrities who rocked House of Tayo collections Tayo elaborated more on his experience and shared that the bumpy journey of the House of Tayo brand he has worked tirelessly to build speaks for itself, and the hard work that has gone into it over the years being attributed entirely to the success of his parents would diminish the efforts that he and his team have put into elevating and growing the business “If someone simplifies what House of Tayo has achieved to what my parents have done, it’s a discredit to the hard work my team and myself have put into it over the years, but also a credit to my friends for being understanding, because their biggest support was words of encouragement.” Despite clarifying that his hard work contributed largely to his brand’s growth, Tayo acknowledged that the understanding and emotional support his parents extended to him despite being ridiculed has played a significant role in where he finds himself today. “There are times they had to shield me from what other people were saying. ‘I got a scholarship to study in the US and came back to be a tailor? What a shame.’ That’s tough and even as the brand grows and becomes better, I always have to stop and give credit to my parents because I know they endured some negative words related to the path that I was pursuing. Our success is a huge credit to the family and family friends that have supported the journey,” he adds. During his discussion on The Long Form, Tayo also talked about the trial and errors of the brand through the years, partnership with the Basketball Africa League, and the codependent nature of fashion and tourism.