Matthew Rugamba: Storytelling through fashion

Rwandan designer Matthew "Tayo" Rugamba tailors his collections for an African audience.
Rwandan brand, House of Tayo draws from innate African sophistication and local craftsmanship to create a line of clothing and accessories with contemporary appeal. Here, the brand’s founder and creative director Matthew 'Tayo' Rugamba discusses how telling African stories through his designs helps him create collections with cultural significance.
Rugamba compares fashion to music as an accessible medium for expressing local heritage and culture. With no training in fashion design, the young Rwandan entrepreneur with an eye for style started marketing his brand on social media platforms before he even released his products. When he launched his first collection, he already had a loyal following and customer base.
His collection started out with a range of eclectic bow ties and expanded to include scarves, ties, shirts and suits. Rugamba identifies House of Tayo as a distinctly African brand and by that he means his designs are “made for people who live on the continent.” He highlights the fact that his clothing is constructed to suit African climates and body types.