AG: Who is Sheria Ngowi? Sheria: Sheria Ngowi (Born as Walter Thomas Ngowi on October 1st, 1982 as second born of five children). I am a Tanzanian fashion designer and Founder Of Sheria Ngowi Designs.
AG: What was that significant turning point for you, when you realized fashion was the way to go?Sheria: Even though I studied law, my interest in Fashion has been with me for as long as I can remember,my Parents are the ones who inspired me since they had an interest and sense of fashion at that time. I remember styling my parents before they went out and pretty soon i was the family stylist and I realized I had a talent and now I am a Designer.
AG: Inspiration for fashion?Sheria: I studied Law but my career has taken the path of Fashion Designing.So many sources but it primarily comes from my late Father who was an incredibly stylish man and cause he used to love fashion and sense of style which inspired me a lot.
AG: When and how did you begin forging a professional career in fashion?Sheria: My career famously began In 2008 when I debuted my designs for men under brand name Sheria Na Mavazi in Mysore,India. In 2009, I launched my first professional collection under my own name Sheria Ngowi Designs. Now I decided to focus on both genders at the time to ensure that I put my all into each one of the SS11 collections.
AG: What is about fashion you find fulfilling?
Sheria: Simply everything but I really like fashion to me is more of something I read but as a talent gift for me,cause "My fashion philosophy is similar to my philosophy on life''.
AG: What era do you draw your inspiration from?Sheria: So many sources but it primarily comes from my late Father who was an incredibly stylish man and cause he used to love fashion and sense of style which inspired me a lot.. He’s the reason I love suspenders instead of belts heh ehe he.
My designs are inspired by the past since 30's up to the early 70's suits,cut for comfort and not as fitted amd mostly where double-breasted.So i decided to blend modern trends with the classic vintage looks to make my collection.
AG: Do you see yourself as a creative person or a businessman?Sheria: For me creativity and business are often substituted for one another,so its important to clearly state that Sheria Ngowi Designs its not only the fashion brand but its also more than the clothes you wear, it's a lifestyle.
AG: Most important event in your career so far?Sheria: The launch of my first professional collection under my own name Sheria Ngowi Designs and
I decided to focus on both genders at the time to ensure that I put my all into each one of them in my coming SS11 collections.
AG: What is the most important thing to you when it comes to fashion?
Sheria: Fashion does not rule you.You rule it.You do not have to follow Fashion as a religion,but use it to create your own signature style.
AG: What has been the response from the market, particularly the international market?Sheria: First of all, it was a great opportunity for me to promote the fashion industry in my country, as well as East Africa and the world as a whole. I got a very good response from international market and I can see Sheria Ngowi designs being eligible to apply for all the important fashion weeks hosted around the world and I am looking forward to being a part of it.
AG: How is fashion in Tanzania? What is the atmosphere like?Sheria: Fashion is definitely picking up in Tanzania, However we still got a long way to go.We need to find a way to blend in our cultural roots and modern trends, and come up with our own style. We are definitely going places though.
AG: What would you say sets you apart from other designers?Sheria: Well ,my designs are heavily influenced by the past. So I blend modern trends with the classic vintage looks and incorporate numerous colors. That is the main difference, trying to be playful with menswear which is quite rare in the fashion world as of now.
AG: A fellow designer who has the most influence on your life?Sheria: Tom Ford, simply because he is solely responsible for the turnaround of one of the most stylish brands there is out there, Gucci. Other designers who deserve mention are Ozwald Boateng, Ralph Lauren,Paul Smith.
AG: Your take on style?Sheria: If you really like wearing something quite out there,be sure you can carry it off and that it actually looks good on you.The best way to judge is to never think that you're dressing for other people; It's not, it's for you.You make and break your image.Beware of making that mistake in your person style.
AG: Who is the Sheria Ngowi Man?
Sheria: My Collection is luxurious and sophisticated yet from another time.I made my Designs for men who are sophisticated,there was no lack of restraint in the shapes or in the looks,I offered a collection where every detail is accentuated,making men look good without ever giving them an affected or ridiculously disguised look.My Suits are classic and well built Daring youthful silhouettes.Uses of slim-fit check shirts,slim ties an bow ties are details that make my collection simple and unique.Glasses and bags contribute to the image of a refined,relaxed man.
AG: Any designing or styling tips you would like to share?Sheria: 1.Being Fashionable is one thing,and being stylish is another;but being oneself is the most important.
2.Never think that you're dressing for other people:it's not it's for you.You make and break your image.
3.Dont be afraid to mix and match.Nowadays not everyone wants total looks.You should always mix brands and seasons,new pieces with vintage ones.
4.Every man's wardrobe should contain a tailored suit,possibly made-to-measure.A suit doesn't just ''cover'' a body it enhances its strengths.
5.Jeans are must-i love them and i cant do without them.Besides being comfortable,jeans have to fit you well and be special in terms of the cut,the fabric and the detailing.
6.Its all in details.Match your belt with your shoes.Narrow ties go with narrow lapelled jackets and smaller collar shirts.
7.Accessories are essential for your look.They have to be functional and not too flashy.I suggest owning at least two,one for everyday use and another that's more formal and precious.
8.Some things that should never be missing in your closet;perfect white and black shirts.
9.Fragrances should be discreet and reflect the personality of the wearer.Do not abuse.
10.The most important thing a man carries is the right kind of attitude.
AG: What is the future, for Sheria Ngowi Designs?Sheria: I see Sheria Ngowi designs being eligible to apply for all the important Fashion weeks hosted around the world and i am looking forward to being a part of it.My biggest wish is to have my name in an International Fashion Platform, so that my grand kids and their friends could see that it is okay to follow a belief and for my country to be proud of me as a Tanzanian..."
Thank you very much (Shukurani sana).
Follow: Sheria Ngowi,Founder &CEO (Sheria Ngowi Designs).