I am Davy-Carmel Ingabire, a fashion designer and journalist/media content creator and producer. I recently launched my clothing line DavyK,
a dream I have been pursuing for over 10 years. This is my journey.
Clothes and fabric have always captivated me; I remember when I was a kid I would spend hours analyzing my aunties’ long colorful and flowery skirts, my father’s jackets and the curtains in my room during my sleepless afternoons, this might sound crazy but I felt like I could talk to them and they could hear and respond (and boy I have gotten my behind whooped several times because I was talking instead of sleeping) – by the way, the name of the event is an homage to the creative mind born in that ROOM.
I was also very into drawing, and years later when I heard about Armani, Ralph or Karl, it all became clear, I wanted to create clothes.
At the age of 17, I entered the fashion world as a model in the hopes of meeting famous designers or other industry players as there were no schools of fashion anywhere near, I thought it was my only way in. But doors were being closed on my nose one after another, I almost gave up (I’m grateful though for that period of a doubt because it led me to the media path, but that’s another story).
I stayed in the field as a model for a few years, then I started a model management and fashion events production company (the first of the kind in my country of origin, Burundi) Agence Esther, we did pretty well and worked with designers, influencers and models from everywhere in Africa which somehow kept my dream of having one day my own clothing line alive.
I learned so much during that period about the fashion industry our continent where things are different than what we read or see about fashion business as it’s done by big international brands. 8 years later, in 2014 I felt like I should try myself and see. I worked on mini-collections that I presented in different events and countries (Kigali Fashion Week in Rwanda, Burundi International Fashion Night and East African Fashion Week in Kenya) the feedback was very positive and the critics from other creators were very enriching, most importantly the pieces sold quickly, that was my clique! DavyK was ready to be born and its DNA mix-and-match of fabrics in an urban street avant-garde spirit had passed the test.
ROOM, a fashion moment with DavyK was the real starting point for what I have been preparing for all these years so it had to be all about the brand, even if I was told it’s crazy to do a fashion show alone as a newcomer and I knew it was obviously risky, I went for it, all lights had to be on the brand and nothing else. The collection was a statement of what the brand is, a place where the differences are put together to create beauty, uniqueness, and comfort. We expressed that through the marriage of fabrics on clothes and through the choice of the models we worked with. Beyond that, DavyK is also a brand for your everyday life, a man going to work on a Monday morning, a couple going to the beach to enjoy their weekend, a celebrity preparing to slay the red-carpet or a bunch of friends going out on a Friday night, they all can find something to wear in the collection.
When you come from nothing, hard work, prayers, and perseverance are the only key to success, T his brand is the result of long hours of hard work, prayers and years of trying, sometimes failing but always getting up and keep pushing forward and another proof that the African Dream can be a reality.