Local reporter explains why he ventured into the fashion industry | The new times
FOR A DECADE NOW Emmanuel Murenzi, popularly known as Emmalito, has made a name for himself as a journalist, especially on entertainment-related TV talk shows.
However, his successful career did not stop him from realizing his dream that he had from an early age of becoming a fashion designer, because it was only a matter of time.
His love and passion for fashion inspired him to create ‘Lito Ris Design’, a fashion store he set up in Kicukiro (Sonatubes) and an achievement he describes as ‘just the start’ ‘of what he looks forward to doing in the future. .
The 30-year-old, who is currently a presenter at Isibo TV, told the New Times about his inspiration for venturing into fashion and his plans for a new chapter in the industry.
A lot of people know you as a journalist. How did you get into fashion?
I’m still a journalist, but I think beyond just journalism. I was in fashion long before, as a model and it was thanks to modeling that I became the first finalist of Mister Mount Kenya University in 2012.
Later, I thought “let me do this professionally instead” and venture into fashion design. I could have launched it in 2016, but I took the time to learn how it was done before creating my own clothing line.
I consulted my friends who are already established fashion designers in Kenya, South Africa, Canada and the United States because I wanted to intervene.
But my passion for fashion was above anything I was trying to do for a good start to my fashion store.
I could have done it even when I was young, but realized that I couldn’t combine it with studying. It was a matter of time.
What does your brand name âLito Risâ mean?
A lot of people know me as Emmalito. So I named my fashion brand ‘Lito Ris’ to help people quickly understand that it represents my name and that I own the brand.
You said you were in fashion before. How was your experience?
I started modeling and participated in different big fashion events like Kigali Fashion Week and Rwanda Fashion Week.
What gaps do you think the Rwandan fashion industry needs to fill in order to thrive and be competitive in the international market?
You might wonder why I ventured into a fashion industry that still has time to climb to the top, but the good thing is I have to take the time and see why we are always late.
The reality is we don’t have any known fashion designers out there here, not because they’re unprofessional or because they can’t do it well, but because the majority don’t market themselves. not.
Why do we know the likes of “Gucci”, “Adidas or Nike?” This is because they know how to make themselves known and we too have to know how to promote our brands.
We also need to have strategies in place for designers to present what they have through all possible platforms.
There is a competitiveness gap. Our designers show incredible creativity in their clothing products, but there is still a lack of competitiveness.
Finally, the industry is struggling to gain support. Look at how many fashion shows we have, even the active ones end up having a hard time because they have no support.
We need media to support the fashion industry and we need designers to speak out. We also need customers to understand what we do because we are there for them.
It has been a few months since you created your fashion store. What have you accomplished so far?
I started âLito Ris Designâ in January of this year and now it’s my home for shirts, dresses, jackets, skirts, belts, sandals, bags and suits, which I design myself- even.
I have already released my first collection ‘Ifeza Collection’ and the feedback from local and foreign customers has been impressive and it has motivated me to do even better in the next collections ever since.
Where do you want to see your clothing line in the future?
I want to see it become a leading brand in the country, then in the region and eventually be recognized by the fashion world in general, because I want to see this brand, sooner or later, cross Africa to other continents. I have this passion and I am ready to push and make it happen.