When she returned to Uganda after completing her studies in South Africa, political science graduate Ngyenzi ‘Nunu’ Mugyenyi saw an opportunity in her country’s fashion retail business. She teamed up with two friends, Angel Kalisa and Janet Mugume, to set up Bold Kampala, a retailer of African fashion. Initially stocking just two designers, today Bold carries products from no fewer than 30 designers from seven African countries.
“I have always been interested in fashion – not the actual design, but the business part of it. I knew a number of good brands that had less exposure than I thought they should. My partners and I saw a gap in the market to develop aretail concept. We decided to create a platform for African designers where we stock, curate and promote African designer labels,” explains Mugyenyi.
Bold’s primary product is clothing, but it also sells handbags, shoes, jewellery, beauty products, and music DVDs that are often accompanied with merchandise – all sourced from African entrepreneurs.
“Some of the designers we work with had no presence in Uganda so they tap into the Ugandan market through us.”
Changing fashion trends
Bold attracts local consumers, as well as expatriates and tourists. Mugyenyi says there is growing interest for African clothing among Ugandan consumers, a departure from previous buying habits.
“A few years ago, wearing African prints was the preserve of our mothers. You had to be a mother of a certain age to wear kitenge. But today people are proud of their heritage,” she explains. read more