Christopher Ngalu might be young, but his fashion designs speak volumes of a grown-up person he is in the industry.
Inspired by Tanzania’s designer Sheria Ngowi and Ghanaian ElikemKumortzie, Ngalu has decided to open a fashion line, Creative Base, in Mzuzu to benefit from his talent.
The firm, with a design studio at Taifa Market, fuses African with western wear.
“I am using clothes that are already trending to give them a local touch. These clothes appeal to the current generation. This is my uniqueness,” said the 26-year-old in an interview.
Ngalu said he was inspired by Kumortzie and Ngowi to venture into designing.
“These two do clothes that are neither casual nor tradition but a fusion of the two. These are the kind of clothes I like. Unfortunately, they are not available is shops. So I decided to make my own.
“But people became interested with a few designs I made and I decided to venture into fashion as a business,” he said.
Ngalu, a graphic designer at Mzuzu University (Mzuni), holds an advanced diploma in computer studies (graphic designing) from the National College for Information and Technology in Blantyre.
“I have done a lot of drawings and research in graphic and fashion designing. Even in my job at Mzuni, I do a lot of designing.
“If one is good at graphics it’s easy to excel in fashion because these are interrelated. When making artworks on clothing, we first of all make sketches or graphics on the computer before transferring them on the actual cloth. The same is the case with graphic designing,” he said.
Ngalu makes dresses, skirts, dress tops, kaftans, sweat shirts, jackets, trousers, shoes, shirts, among other products. His prices range from K5 000 to K12 000. He has so far employed two people.
He said fashion business, although new, is thriving in Mzuzu. On a daily basis, he serves at least five customers.
“However, the problem with fashion in Mzuzu is that people are taking the same route. Uniqueness is lacking. Every designer needs to have his or her own touch if the industry is to grow,” he observed.
His plan is to break the borders of Malawi with his designs.