Sham Tyra Nalwanga is arguably one of the best female fashion designers in the Ugandan fashion industry today. We bring her up-close in this piece as she tells the tale of her journey to the top.
Gone are the days when Kenya kept a role in fashion and design, teaching and developing some of the fashion designers in Uganda. Today, the fashion industry in Uganda is proof that the fashion and creative industry is, and will continue developing, bearing more talented and innovative personalities that bring life to it.
Fashion and creative industries are one of those fascinating sectors that depict unique essence from the mind (ideas). We focus on the beautiful dynamic fashion designer Sham Tyra Nalwanga, the brains behind the well-known fashion brand “Sham Tyra” in Uganda.
Started from the bottom and now she’s here, is the right statement to introduce fashion designer Sham Tyra to her tale that has no roses but several thorns to it.
Sham Tyra developed a keen interest in fashion from her mother, who also was a designer. She was never a typical child growing up as her sense of style was different from her peers that wore pretty little dresses while she was always dressed in animal prints. One armed dresses, velvet cloths that she found weird and didn’t enjoy as a child, as she grew older, she begun to appreciate and understand it.
With time as she had started to enjoy the beauty of the craft, her fear of being untutored found her in a place of learning and growing. Her journey of pursuing her studies in Records and Archives Management came to stop as she was unable to complete campus due to financial hurdles.
They say when life offers you lemons, you make lemonade. So did Sham Tyra as she opted to join the fashion industry that has eventually seen her build a unique and outstanding brand that many admire today.
The journey, that began with her creating designs for herself as well as sharing them on social media, helped market her talent and craft. It later introduced her to some of her clients such as Leila Kayondo among others and later led to the launch of her brand in 2016.
With her feet in the water, Sham Tyra has managed to humbly grow her brand from a one-bedroom house to a relatively big store and has also set up a training program for young creative minds.
Growing a fashion brand is not like sipping water from a glass, however, Sham Tyra keeps portraying the fierce and uniqueness in her craft. Her creations tend to depict glamour (someone call J-Lo and let her know Uganda has a Michael Costello *wink*)
The fashion designer looks up to creative personalities like Michael Costello, Olivier Rousteing (Balmain), Zegman, among others.
She is also a usual award nominee at the Abryanz Fashion and Style Awards. She has collaborated with a variety of personalities, including Leila Kayondo, Natasha Sinayobye, Crystal Newman, Sheilah Gashumba, Anita Fabiola, Vinka, Nadia Mbire, Judithiana Namazzi and others.
Sham Tyra is a unique and different women’s fashion brand that deals in high end fashion, bridal wear, red carpet wear, ready to wear, among others. Defined by its authenticity and consistency, the brand aims at making its clients comfortably stand out.
Coco Channel says that the best things in life are free and the second best are expensive, fashion designers in Uganda are challenged by how high their craft prices are questioned. It’s not any different with Sham Tyra.
Efforts such as time, innovation and authenticity to create art are not valued, however, this has not stopped Tyra from dreaming bigger things and creating more.
Much as no designer wants to produce clothes that end up in a dusty museum, the fashion forward Sham Tyra creates the pleasure of dressing through art which makes her clients look classy and glamorous.
Marilyn Monroe says, “give a girl the right shoes, so she can conquer the world.” We would love to say, “give a girl a Sham Tyra outfit and see her conquer the world.”
In the next five years, Sham Tyra aims to open an online shop for her ready to wear outfits, showcase her talent and design internationally as well as open a branch in one of the neighboring countries.
Not even the sky is the limit for such an elegant mind! Below are some of Sham Tyra’s works:
(Compiled with the help of Sheilla Clara, a Fashion and Entertainment Lover)