Home Lifestyle & Travel Fashion Life is too short to wear boring clothes

Life is too short to wear boring clothes

‘A passion for fashion.’ These are the words Eunice Matondo Nkutu uses to describe herself and it fits as perfectly as one of her African print inspired designs on a runway model. Alberton resident, Eunice, oozes style, class, and passion as she speaks of her exciting career and fashion brand, Omari.

Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, designer Eunice has lived most of her life in Alberton. She attended Alberview Primary and Alberton High School. She is one of three children.

Some of her fondest memories are spending time with family, attending church and visiting various restaurants with friends or hiking.

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We want to know more about Omari and her fabulous designs, and what inspired her from a young age.

‘Growing up, I was surrounded by fashion and seamstresses, whose creations inspired me daily,’ she recalls.

As she would dress up in her own favourite African print fashion wear, these women birthed in her a desire to bring her imagination and ideas to life. Years later, this would lead directly to the creation of Omari Fashion.

Bringing her imagination to life

In September 2017, Eunice set out to create her own authentic African-inspired young and trendy Johannesburg-based urban fashion brand. Omari means God the Highest in Swahili and the brand’s creation has been a labour of love for Eunice.

‘Omari is a brand that portrays Ubuntu as it strives to create a sense of pride and love for African culture,’ she said.

For Eunice, the dream and vision were always clear, but not without their challenges.

‘The African print industry is very saturated, and it has been important for me to educate Omari followers and clients about the difference in quality and longevity of the materials they use for their designs.

‘It was hard not having the capital for a big start-up company, but I am proud of how far Omari has come,’ she said.

She explained how every opportunity and asset Omari has gained, came over time through hard work, dedication and drive to maintain their high-quality standards.

The hard work has certainly paid off, as Eunice has grown from creating a design for herself and for friends and family to a thriving fashion brand that has many people buzzing with excitement.

A growing success

Two more brands have been added as a result of Omari’s success. To service clients looking for high-end bridal and evening wear, Omari Couture was created, along with Zuri, Omari’s kids’ wear line.

Both these avenues of expansion have proved very successful in Omari’s growth, meaning that Omari now caters to proudly African fashionistas from practically every walk of life.

But the height of Eunice’s achievements doesn’t just stop with the creation of this blossoming fashion empire. She’s had the opportunity to dress and style powerful corporates and become the exclusive go-to designer for many corporate businesses.

Eunice has also enjoyed working with and collaborating with many top local jewellers, make-up brands, models and photographers.

Proudly based out of the South of Johannesburg, Omari has even been earmarked to work with top international photographers and has been featured on local and international fashion platforms.

A recent shoot for Zuri resulted in what Eunice described as her proudest moment as a fashion designer.

‘A young boy with a disability was modelling some of the designs. Under normal circumstances, he would be shy and hide his amputated arm, but once he put on the Zuri outfits, his demeanour changed completely.’

According to the boy’s mom, she had never seen him so confident. She wanted to buy every item in the new line immediately.

‘This brand was created to celebrate diversity and to bring people together, and during the shoot, I felt like my dream, my vision, was finally coming true.’

Achieving more than life offers

‘I create schedules that I follow strictly, diarising and journaling everything. This works the best for me to be able to juggle all of my responsibilities while still making time for myself,’ she said.

Sundays, for her, are all about friends and family. Attending church and having fun help her ensure that she has a balance between her career and personal life.

‘My favourite spots to visit include the Lua Bakers Café and Doppio Zero in Bassonia.’

If Eunice was not a fashion designer she would have loved to coach others through growing their brands and businesses.

Drive, dedication, motivation and commitment. Through all of these attributes Eunice has learned and relies on daily to continue growing Omari and having people from around the world fall in love with her designs.

She credits two women as having had a major impact on her and inspiring her. First is Oprah Winfrey, who Eunice admires for being a positive impact maker, who has empowered others through giving of herself. Oprah’s belief in the power of authenticity and unity of people is something Eunice strives for continually.

‘Coco Chanel was born in poverty and built a successful business, empowering many women as she became a fashion icon. She was a brave and powerful woman that strived to beat the status quo and influenced many young designers of her time. She inspired me now to do the same.’

As our time comes to a close Eunice said that she has always had a dream to achieve more than life offered and to achieve greatness through hard work and determination.

There is no doubt that Eunice and Omari will achieve much more going forward if the past is anything to go by.

A passion for fashion is how she described herself, but it would seem that she has a passion for a great many things. And that passion is going to carry her far.

A dream to achieve more than life offered and to achieve greatness through hard work and determination

Text: ELZAAN PIENAAR
Photo: DOMINIQUE SPRUCH DESIDER SPIRIT

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