|Larry Abuchere. (Photo:Wilberforce Okwiri/Standard)|
Larry Abuchere, 23, is not your typical First Year student. He is a passionate fashion designer, running a successful business besides his studies. He spoke to NJOKI CHEGE
Tell us about yourself…
First and most importantly, I love fashion. I am a First Year student at Buru Buru Institute of Fine Arts pursuing a diploma in Fashion and Design. Besides that, I also design, fashion sketch and make garments for clients on order.
When did you decide to pursue fashion designing?
After high school in 2007, I was at a crossroads. I had a lot of figuring out to do because I was not sure what career to pursue. However, when I was seven years old, I learnt crocheting simply by watching my mother do it, and I loved it! At 12 years, I developed an interest in drawing and beadwork, so after high school, I naturally began to fashion sketch. In 2009, I started making garments and a year later, it became a fully fletched side business as I pursued my studies.
When was your major breakthrough?
It was in December last year when I was contracted to design clothes for a bridal team. I gave them the Afro-Asian idea, which is basically a blend of African and Asian designs. I made garments for the maids, the men and the children. It was a great learning experience and that was when I realised that people appreciate what I do. I decided to take my education seriously in order to complement my talent.
What was your family’s reaction when you told them you wanted to pursue fashion as a career?
It was not easy to convince them. You know, fashion is conventionally perceived as ‘girl stuff’ and my family wanted me to pursue something ‘more serious’ like accounts or pharmacy. However, my hard work and achievements so far have convinced them that this is my path.
What is your niche in the fashion industry?
I try to add value to whatever comes my way. I don’t do plain stuff. I add value to what my clients have in mind — be it kitenge, lesso, Asian or Western style. With my exploring mind, I do not like to limit myself. My style, however, is anything glamorous with an African touch and with some ‘disposal of fullness’, as we say it in the world of fashion.
How do you manage to balance your studies and work?