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Meet Your Designer

We're thrilled to introduce Chi Aguwa, the designer behind our Fall/Winter '17 collection.  Join us in getting to know her in our brief interview below!
When did designing become a passion of yours? 
I have been designing ever since I was 3. My parents would always find me sketching outfits in a random corner of my childhood home. I design as a way to escape reality, and focus on myself. I took on a lot of responsibility as the oldest child in the house, helping my parents take care of my younger brother, who has autism. Designing always provided a way for me to express my feelings without actually saying what was going on in my head. 

What's the first thing you do when you're preparing a new design? 
When preparing a new design, I first think about what I’m drawn to as a designer. I love bright colors, interesting shapes, silhouettes, and simplicity. You will see that all pieces in this collection and meant to be simple statement pieces for Fall fashion. 

Why did you choose to collaborate with Mwayi? 
What stood out to me the most about Mwayi was the philanthropic aspect of the company. Through providing women in Malawi an opportunity to expand their skill base, Mwayi shatters cultural norms and enforces the importance of women in the workplace. Giving back to the community , whether it is the United States community or the African community, has always been important to me. It just seemed like the right choice to combine two of my passions together! 

Can you tell us about the 3 pieces in the Mwayi Fall/Winter 2017 Collection? 
For Mwayi Fall/Winter 2017 collection we have three pieces: Arah, Adamma, and Adona. Inspired by a fusion of current Nigerian and American trends, with a nod to our Malawian sisters and seamstresses, I wanted to create three stand-alone pieces that are must-have's for this season. The Arah (meaning "Mother Earth protects our name" in Igbo, one of Nigeria's native languages) is a wide-leg pant inspired by a tuxedo stripe/track pant; you can easily dress up or down this piece, creating a to-die-for outfit. The Adamma (meaning "daughter of beauty," also in Igbo) dress is an off-the-shoulder long-sleeved dress created to function as a simple but elegant casual dress. As always, the Adamma can be dressed up with some heels and a statement necklace for a night out. Lastly, the Adona (meaning "female boss" in Chichewa, one of Malawi's native languages) is a show-stopper A-line coat that can brighten any outfit. Pairing the Adona with a simple dress or skinny jeans is the best way to complete the outfit! 

What's your go-to junk food? 
Without a doubt french fries and a milkshake. If you want me to love you forever just buy me French fries and a black and white milkshake.