Charles Kasozi, known in the industry as Ras Kasozi designs both men and women’s wear using his distinct golden touch to enhance and rebrand indigenous and ethnic fabrics that showcase his superb talent. He began his designing education through the mentorship of his mother at the early age of 14. His mother was a tailor and textile specialist.
In 2009, he launched the fashion label Kas Wear which focuses on custom individual designs and new fashion designs. He currently resides in Kampala and sat down with us to discuss his thoughts, designs and future…
How did you get into fashion design?
It was an accidental thing. I joined University to study a course in Computer Science but my interest had always been Art. So I started to share my time between Arts classes and Computer Science classes. I started doing small design projects for my friends for free and later on they started paying me small amounts of money.
What inspired you to get into fashion design?
My mother. She was a tailor. I grew up watching her sew clothes.
What is your philosophy about the ART of fashion?
Without the ART of fashion, life would be boring.
What do you enjoy most about designing clothes?
Sketching is the most interesting bit. I spend a lot of time sketching a piece. In a sketch, I can see what the output of the piece will be.
What is the most challenging part?
A client’s feedback. I’m always nervous as to whether a client will like a piece I designed for them.
Which designer in the world would you work with if you had the choice?
A South African designer called David Tlale. His work portrays a free spirited soulful person.
Who is your most influential fashion designer?
I’m influenced by certain pieces by specific designers. Right now it is a designer from New York called Noah G. PoP.
Does your work reflect your personal style and fashion taste?
Yes it does. I am authentic; I am a free spirit so I make sure my work reflects my thoughts and inspiration. I mix African fabrics and jewellery and try to incorporate them into modern Art and fashion that suits the 21st century.
What has been the positioning of Ugandan fashion in the global scenario in the last 10 years?
Uganda is still lagging behind regarding the international fashion scene. It is represented by the wrong people. A lot of designers underground are so talented but they don’t get the exposure they deserve.
Where do you see Ugandan fashion heading?
If these designers were launching new designs or trends, it would make sense but these days fashion shows are more of a commercial venture.
What are your future plans?
I want to become a Fashion “King”.
Any closing thoughts?
As Ugandan fashion designers we have to cooperate. The disharmony in the fashion industry is killing it. Designers should try to promote their art and not become commercial. I would also like to thank IN KAMPALA since it’s the first Ugandan website to interview me.
Ras Kasozi can be contacted on: +256 (0) 755 005599. His next show will be at the “Hub of Africa Fashion Week” in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). The theme of the show is “Eco Fashion”. His blog is http://kaswear.blogspot.com/ . His Facebook page is Kas Wear.