Arts

Promoting our culture and heritage

 

“It feels happy to feel beautiful,” says designer Stella

In a one-on-one interview, our reporter Sarah Kiko met Ms. Stella Alex, a Fashion Designer working at Rock City Market.

Here is her journey into the Fashion Industry.

Juba Monitor (JM): may you introduce yourself to us please!

Stella Alex: My name is Stella Alex. I am a fashion designer by profession. I am a graduate from Kampala University with a bachelor’s degree in fashion and Design.

JM: When did you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in the Designing industry?

Stella: Well, I was brought up by a single mother and our mom struggled hard for our survival in the family. She used to pay our school through the money she got from tailoring. She could design and make clothes by herself. After completing my high school in 2010 I picked interest in creating more beautiful designs. Within the time, I discussed with my mother that I want to pursue this career when I join the university. And I am glad I did. I went to Kampala University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Fashion and Design. It took me three 3 years to graduate.

JM: When did you land your first internship and what was the most valuable thing you learned from the experience?

Stella: In 2013 before graduating from the university I did an internship with my former lecturer back in the university for two months and was a great feeling practicing the lessons I learnt. I designed a uniform to one of the primary schools which left me so happy seeing my own ideas working out perfectly.

Stella in one of the clothes she designed.

JM: where was your first job?

Stella: I was never employed anywhere because I was already doing my designing business.

JM: if you go back and tell yourself one thing before beginning your career, what would it be?

Stella: I have always had the passion for fashion since childhood. I always admired my mother when she was busy making clothes. She inspired me so much, she still does.

 

Stella measuring one of her clients at her workshop

JM: What is the biggest mistake you made while starting up?

Stella: Honestly I have not done any mistakes despite of some normal challenges in everyday business institution when someone is starting up. The examples include providing good quality materials to the clients. The materials available are very expensive that is why sometimes I am forced to import from Uganda or Kenya.

JM: How does work in the Fashion Industry today vary from when you started out?

Stella: Every time design changes. They do not remain the same. There is a big difference now compared to the day I first started business.

JM: What positive role do you think social media plays in fashion today?

Stella: Social media is playing a great role in the fashion industry. Without it many people would have not known anything about fashion or designers like us in the world. It has helped me and many of my clients to get the location and their products online.

JM: What is your biggest fear when going out and starting your own line?

Stella: My fear is being criticized and undermined. All the time before I start my day, I think twice on what I want to wear or do.

JM: What is your favorite part of being a designer?

Stella: Making for myself the design that creates itself in my mind and always working on time to make deadline of my clients’ requests.

Model Fufu Tito wearing one of the cloths designed by Stella.

JM: Have you ever showcased your clothes and how successful was it?

Stella: Yes I did way back in 2016 here in Juba and I also visited Bor County for a tour through the support of the AnaTaban group. The whole event turned up very successful and people in Bor county including the Governor was so pleased with my work. With the help of my team, we were able to mobilize some beautiful ladies around to come and showcase their traditional wears.

JM: How do you want women to feel when wearing your design?

Stella: They should feel great in my designs. It feels happy to feel beautiful also.

JM: There is so much pressure for designers to come out with their greatest collection season after season, what advice would you give to young designers who are just starting and hoping to make it in the industry?

Stella: Every beginning of everything always require patience and focus. My advice is that they should be committed and love what they are doing. They should also put God first in their career and business.

JM: In South Sudan, How do you define fashion?

Stella: Every person has a different definition of fashion but in South Sudan many people love wearing traditional clothes. Since fashion win the heart of some of us, people began understanding that something unique is happening in the world fashion today and the lifestyle is improving.

JM: Thank you so much for your time

Stella: You are most welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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