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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Profile: House of Tayo – Matthew Rugamba’s Rwandan love-child

Sometimes one’s ensemble is not completed by the two-button slim fit blazer they wear, but rather, by the small, yet delicately crafted African wax print bow-tie they decide to don instead of the usual plain black one. The effect something so small can have on your style and people’s impression of your style is one that still has me in awe.

It’s not that men’s accessories don’t exist, or that there’s too much of an ocean of options. For me, it’s a matter of there are enough accessories to go around but they are not all worth noting. Some are just the standard accessories which create no story, no emotion, evoke no conversation from passers-by. And those are the kind you want to leave at home.

The kind you do want to wear in public are those that are perfectly showcased by the collection of men’s African wax print accessories, by the Rwandan inspired brand, House of Tayo, by the designers, Matthew Rugamba, who has been dubbed a designer to watch this year.

Using an eclectic mix of fabrics, featuring bold colours, strong prints, story-telling motifs, culturally drawn textures, House of Tayo presents itself as an alternative to accessories that deserves a man with a tale to tell. Beautifully crafted and well-thought of, the African wax prints used are personally selected by Matthew and his team from a group of women who know the fabrics like the back of their hands.

House of Tayo can easily be seen as the brand to wear if you’re interested in wearing more African print without feeling like you’re going to be overwhelmed by the experience. You can manage the process in small doses and you get the opportunity to introduce yourself and your fans to the story of Rwanda. It’s going to be interesting to see this brand’s progression and grow, and I’d be happy to know they are available in South Africa.

Until such time, I’ll continue to visit to keep up-to-date on the brand.

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