July 5, 2014
Yesterday afternoon, twin Rwandan-born brothers Lévi and Reuben Uwi launched their 2014 spring/summer collection, Uwi Twins Fashion Label (aka U.T.F.L.), at a pop-up space in downtown Vancouver (730 Richards Street).
This is the second label by the creative duo, who look to hip-hop, house music, and fashion for their latest inspiration.
Before the fashion show began, I had the chance to chat with co-founder and designer Lévi, who explained that in 2008, the pair’s first label was distributed by Hudson’s Bay. They seek to tell a story through their clothing, devoid of past outside influences.
“Go after your dreams.” – Lévi Uwi
The twins left their homeland for Vancouver 20 years ago after experiencing the brutality and horrors of the 1994 genocide. They were only seven at the time, and luckily they were able to emigrate – together with their mother – to Canada.
This traumatic period of their lives was the main driving force behind their determination to forge ahead and get down to the business of creating.
Lévi is left-handed; Reuben is right-handed. Seems they were meant to work together and compliment one another’s talents. Have a look at some of the refreshing, colourful statement pieces that the models walked out wearing.
Reuben and Lévi are working to establish the label independently before approaching large retail chains. They’re all about creating a brand and getting behind it to build momentum. They’ve learned from past experience how to release their wares to market.
The U.T.F.L. is a fusion of sophisticated fashion trends with street cool. For now, the collection is exclusively online, however the 730 Richards Street pop-up shop will remain open through the weekend (Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 8 pm).