Okori lives and breathes fashion | Instant News


By EDGAR R. BATTE

CLOSE. Juliana Okori manages the Kori House of Couture and Design (KHCD). Okori is tall, strong, confident and hardworking. His world revolves around fashion and design. EDGAR R. BATTE talked to him about his childhood.

My earliest childhood memory …
It should be a kindergarten at Mbuya Nursery. We used to play and share snacks with other children. The fun part is we used to sit on colored bricks for different streams at rest.

My first best friend is …
Tracy, neighbor. We both stayed in the same flat but in different parts. He and I shared toys and played together all day.

My first kiss …
Mmhhh, do I have to answer this? Ha ha ha. I was at O-Level with my first girlfriend. We were in a different school so I went to visit him during the holidays and he drove me home.

My childhood hero …
Clearly my mother. Seeing him rise to the task when my father briefly left work changed my view of the role of women at home. Our mother has played a big role in who I am today.

The first book I read …
I do not remember. This is because I have always been a creative, reading books has never been mine.

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My first job …
Right from the university, I work alone – trying to build KHCD. I love seeing finished products and seeing people wearing the clothes that I make. So, every morning I wake up with enthusiasm you have to finish one or two dresses.

My first salary …
I would say Shs150,000.
One thing you need to understand is that in the beginning, a person’s business may not make financial sense because it takes years to break even.

My current job …
I manage a fashion house and I am a fashion and design lecturer at Kampala YMCA Comprehensive Institute for undergraduate, diploma and certificate level students. I also joined with the Kwoch Mentorship Initiative (KMl), a non-governmental organization (NGO). I founded KMI to provide guidance and economic empowerment for young women who were marginalized from urban centers using sewing skills and fashion development.

What I like about my work …
The ability to make unique clothes that are well done. I always say, when clients are happy, we are happy. However, I also like to provide knowledge. Seeing them grow to be present in the economic workspace.

I do not like…
The fact that fashion in Uganda is still seen as a bad career choice; so some people automatically think they can underestimate you. That is something that reappears; clients feel that they can walk and order clothes in one day. I hope clients can learn that more time equals perfection.

The most memorable experience …
After attending the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) in Nairobi, Kenya in 2017. This changed my mindset. I am under the entrepreneurship section and this program not only taught me how to run a business but also how to become better.

The biggest regret in life …
Giving my time to people who have never deserved it. There are always people around you who rooted you to fail but disguised as friends. Be wary of people you call friends. When people are not happy to see you successful or growing. When people keep trying to bring you down, it’s not a good person.

My first girlfriend …
I am tall, so he is tall and two years older than me. I like him because he is kind and humble. His name is Tony.

Quotes about design
“I think there is beauty in everything. What ‘normal’ people think is ugly, I can usually see something beautiful in it. “- Alexander McQueen

“What is my style is not yours, and I do not see how you can define it. It is something that expresses who you are in your own way.” —Iris Apfel

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