Woogui Got Swag!
Late Wednesday afternoon, I had the opportunity to interview Wacy Zacarias, an amateur fashion designer who takes her ability to mix and match colors and patterns to a whole new level. The colors are stunning, and the patterns come from none other than our very own Capulanas. During the Mozambique Fashion week ’09 show, the models strutted down the runway wearing Woogui creations that came to life. Interviewing Wacy, I attain a designer’s view of her hard work and her hopeful pursuit in creating such splendor.
Talumba Katawala: Thank you Wacy for sitting with me today.
Wacy Zacarias: Thank you for having me.
TK: How did you decide you eventually wanted to become a fashion designer?
WZ: I didn’t decide. I didn’t wake up one day and say “hey I should do fashion”.
TK: Did you study fashion?
WZ: No. Not yet.
TK: Not yet. So, what did you study?
WZ: In College I studied psychology and African studies. Once I moved back here ( to Maputo), after working in development for a while, I was sure that wasn’t the area wanted to be in, and I knew I wouldn’t make a difference doing that. Not the way I wanted to, so I changed focus.
TK: when you decided to change…oh wait you didn’t change, because you still have your day job, right?
WZ: I did change. Because my day job is totally different area from what I studied,
I worked in marketing and communications for a while, and worked in a magazine.
I tried doing the fashion thing for a while, but it was hard to live of that, so I had to go back to work and do both.
And I eventually learnt the ropes of fashion business. And I got a day job, to sustain my fashion design.
Wacy in Milan
TK: what was your family and friends reaction when you told them?
WZ: my parents were very supportive, they’re actually the only business partners that I have. My friends thought I was crazy at first, they couldn’t believe I was going to do it.
TK: So, you came up with Woogui. What does it mean?
WZ: Woogui means dawn in Bitonga. It originally comes from Inhambane, and myself and my ex business partner are both from there. We wanted to keep the line name close to our roots.
TK: What’s your tag line? Swagger you can…?
WZ: Swagger you can put on! Every single piece in this line, will give you a little bit of flavor, a dab of swagger.
TK: Ooh, nice. What was like on your first days with the line?
WZ: I started designing clothes for me, for special events and such. At first it was like, “I don’t want anyone wearing my clothes!” Hahaha… I had to get used to the idea that they were no longer mine. I don’t think a designer should design clothes they wouldn’t wear. It’s something that carries your name.
TK: You’ve never had to compromise you’re self, your name, just to please someone else?
WZ: Oh, many times. Bottom line, it’s about pleasing your clients. But at the same time you have to make sure you have your integrity.
TK: So, I know you participated in Mozambique Fashion Week 09, what was that experience like?
WZ: It was great. Definitely a learning experience.
TK: I know that Taussi Daniel won the Young Designers competition. Do you think it was a fair decision?
WZ: Oh yeah, she was really good. I found out like, 3 days before the actual day that there was a competition. They didn’t tell us it was a competition. .. That was my biggest problem. DDB did a great job at organizing the event. Everything ran smoothly (pretty much), and on time. Now, in terms of benefits for the fashion designers, I’m not really sure what they are. other than the exposure obviously.
TK: What was her prize again?
WZ: a sewing machine?
TK: What? A sewing machine?
WZ: yeah, like, why couldn’t they have given her at least a six month course somewhere in Johannesburg so that she could learn a bit more about fashion? That’s a prize. That way, next year she could compete for Established designers, maybe. A lot of designers didn’t compete in young designers because they’ve got way more background than the other designers, but, because they have only participated one time, they are considered young designers. When they actually have fashion degrees. Any type of certified education in fashion, they’re forced to compete against us. Not fair.
( I learnt later that Taussi won a 2 month sewing sourse at Belita (?), which she has already taken before.)
TK: so Wacy, besides fashion week, what other projects do you have going on?
WZ: Me and a group of people interested in fashion, such as Beatriz Costa, Sara Fakir and others are working on this project called OWAMI-Moda em Movimento Its basically a a meeting point for designers to share and exchange ideas, work on projects etc. To promote a more fashion friendly Mozambique.
TK: you’re not only known for being a fabulous fashion designer, you also throw parties.
And what makes you do that?
WZ: Because I’m a party animal.
I just know what makes a good party. I can create a good atmosphere; pick the right music and a good group of people.
It just got to a point where people don’t go out to have fun anymore; they go out to be seen. That’s wack.
I want to go out to meet new people, have good conversations, and if the party has music that I can dance to, that’s a bonus!
TK: Whose party is your favorites?
WZ: I like Mac and Rico’s parties.
TK: Really? What are they like? I’ve never been to one.
WZ: Oh they’re very nice. Definitely the dancing type. But I also liked the ones they had at UParke and Rua D’Arte, I don’t know why they stopped.
TK: I know, Rua D’Arte is so dead now.
Wacy, I’m out of time, I’m getting rude text messages from my boyfriend, I’m late for dinner… Any advice you have for young aspiring business women like your self, those dream seekers?
WZ: this will sound so cliché, but, follow your dreams, You’re only as big as you make your self to be. You’ve got dream, go after it!
TK: I like that, ending on a positive note. Thanks again Wacy!
If you are interested in purchasing some Swagger please contact Wacy at 826050300, and click here to visit the Woogui page on that popular website.