Congolese stylist Laëtitia Kandolo is just 26, but at that young age she’s worked with some of the biggest names in the fashion and music industry. Kandolo is a talented  artistic director and designer for the brand Uchawi in the Republic of Congo.

The likes of Rihanna, Kanye West, Madonna, Will.I.Am, and Les Twins have been some of her clients. Born in France, Laëtitia started her own brand in 2014 called Uchawi with a womenswear line created and designed by Laëtitia herself.

The young Congolese is very much aware of her roots and returns to them many times through food, music or clothes. In a Vogue Italia interview three years ago she said “Africa wasn’t into my school History program so I had to learn the history of my roots by myself, watching documentaries, movies, listening to music, through books, traveling, exhibitions…and talking to people.

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Geplaatst door Uchawi op dinsdag 10 januari 2017

 

The Storytelling, which is a really old African method, for me is one of the most powerful means to keep memories. Over time I also outlined for myself a new vision of Africa, different than the one I had when I was younger, a modern and rich Africa on many levels. As for me, above all, it was important to get to know myself. By checking my own work I realized that I was always bringing an African touch to everything I was doing.”

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Laëtitia attended the prestigious Fashion School in Paris. At the age of 19 she was already working on the idea for Uchawi. For her, “Uchawi is more of a lifestyle than a simple clothing line.” In 2016, Laëtitia launched the first menswear items into her clothing line.

The name Uchawi, a Kiswahili name which etymologically means magic has been the concept that has shaped Laëtitia. For her, Uchawi is “a state of mind in which magic exists, magic operates and the impossible dies.”