My name is Muhire Jean Luc, I am an African Canadian who spent the first half of his life in Kigali, Rwanda and the other half between Gatineau, Ottawa and Edmonton Canada. I profoundly love both countries that formed me and continue to inspire me and this is evident in my clothing line. By using colorful african fabrics and creating modern pieces my clothing line is a true expression of who I am.
Fashion has always been an integral part of my life, as a young boy I would always choose my outfits and I would even dress my little brothers and cousins. Later on in my adult life family members would reach out to me , asking me for help with their outfits. I would say that a defining moment in my relationship with fashion was in 1999 when I noticed that I would be consciously choosing my outfits and wanting them to fit a specific way to portray myself the way I saw myself in my head.
My love for fashion started consuming me so much that an ordinary day at home for me would consist of spending hours mixing and matching different items in my closet for hours at a time. I loved it and saw my own closet as mini shopping mall. I see each item of clothing as unique and able to make a powerful statement on their own or combined with the right pieces. It became clear to me that becoming a designer was my calling when I would find myself searching for items of clothing in malls and boutiques for hours at end, but nothing spoke to me.
What I was looking for simply did not exist yet and so who else better than myself to design and bring my unique vision to life. As I have two cultures, two upbringings, two homes creating a unique style and individuality, I also have two loves; the first being fashion, and the second being food. As I am working in the kitchen combining ingredients to create the perfect dish I am always thinking about fashion and new innovative ways to stand out and make a statement.
The name of my clothing line Shakatell is a combination of my native language Kinyarwanda and English, “shaka” meaning looking and “tell” meaning just that, tell. I can guarantee that while looking at my unique and vibrant clothing line your curiosity will get the best of you and you will want to see and know more.