Q AND AFRICA: Ally Rehmtullah, One of East Africa's Premier Designers

Ally Collage

You have been highly involved in the development of the art and culture in Tanzania through your creative presentation; can you go into depth as of how you merge both your passion and involvement in bettering the arts in Tanzania?

Arts and Culture in Tanzania has always grown from a non-existence industry to struggling and now it is an industry that has made a huge impact at major international platforms. For me – I have always known to be part of the creative industry, never thought fashion would be it, but after realizing my love for colours and my passion for clothes I realized fashion was the chosen career for me. I have been active in the fashion industry in Tanzania and East Africa for over 5 years now and I definitely love what I do for a living. However because there are no fashion schools or institution in Tanzania, I try to meet all the young aspiring designers and tell them about the fashion industry and to guide them in the right path – I am also actively involved in the Drug-Free Zanzibar NGO where we try to raise funds for the sober houses to survive.

What tips would you give an emerging designer, on how to merge their passion or design with being involved in the community?

A wise man has once said and I also believe “What doesn’t break you – only makes you stronger” The fashion Industry in Tanzania has just gotten started – it’s a developing country and there are lots of challenges involved to survive and to succeed – but if you have a passion for it – do it! It’s a struggle which makes it more challenging but fruitful at the end of the journey. I would tell every emerging designer to be real and themselves.

What inspires your designs, and what are you currently working on now?

Living in a beautiful country like Tanzania you never struggle looking for inspirations – we have so much going around us that it gets too overwhelming at times – but what inspires me the most is a women’s body – the way she walks, talks and embraces herself is what ticks me the most. Lots of exciting projects underway which we shall soon make public.

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Disrupting Narratives & Creating Communities In Style

Cut off (verb): the act of stopping the movement or supply of something.

Cut off (adverb): the time when something must be done or completed.

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