It’s not easy for budding fashion designers to get a good start off the blocks. With so much talent in the country, some young Rwandans have to take the odd tumble to hit the end line.
Colombe Ituze Ndutiye is certainly one of the young ones to make a mark in the competitive fashion industry.
Ndutiye was last year recognised as the youngest designer at the 2nd edition of Rwanda Fashion Festival that attracted fashion gurus from different African countries and Europe.
She owns her label called INCO, which bears a Kinyarwanda slogan “Icyusa”, (Beauty). Her design philosophy is simple and clear embracing a traditional and modern touch.
Nature, daily life, antique textiles and cultural traditions of her country have been a lifelong inspiration for this designer, who believes that clothes should just be an extension of one’s intellect.
She uses unusual fabrics, texturing and detailing, ‘fusion’ of styles ‘patch-worked’ with gorgeous embellishments in vibrant diverse colours to create a wondering feeling.
“It was really important for me to participate in the Rwanda Fashion Festival, because I was able to meet regional and international professional designers,” Ndutiye says.
“The festival gave me an opportunity to showcase my collections and I gained a lot of skills from the other participants.”
The 22-year old Ndutiye is a student at Mount Kenya University.