This week we take you to Rwanda as we talk to Laila Umutoni, a lifestyle, fashion and travel enthusiast from Rwanda.

Laila is a passionate lover of TV series and she likes to wander into the kitchen often, to whip up sumptuous meals.
However, what’s really got Laila ticking is her love for fashion and style. She admits that she has been fascinated by clothes since her days as a toddler. This interest is what has led her to take up a hobby-turned-career of a Style influencer.

When she’s not reading for or writing exams, you’ll catch her editing photos, videos or scouting for locations for her next shoot.

Enjoy our conversations with Laila

Exposé Section

NSPK: Is there any experience from your childhood that set you up for a career in Fashion & Style?

Laila: Not really an experience, but I have been obsessed with clothes from a very young age. I think that is how it all started.

NSPK: What’s your typical day like as a fashion creative/entrepreneur?

Laila:  As a student, I try to balance my love for fashion and my studies. My day depends on my to-do list. For instance, on a photo-shoot day, I have to struggle to find a location after which I have to get someone who is going to help me with the shooting. In moments, my days change.

NSPK: Tell us about the source(s) of inspiration for your personal style?

Laila: What a good question. Do not know where to start. Let me think….. My personal style is a bit classy, chic and casual. My source of inspiration comes from different things, like the weather, occasions and generally how I feel.. I also have some people who inspire me like WithLoveLeena, Sebinaah, Eslimah, Aysha Harun, Yasmin Af and every woman who is trying to get out of her comfort zone to find a comfy outfit for herself. Posts on IG and PINTEREST as well.

NSPK: What do you hope to communicate when you assemble pieces for your daily looks? Is there any message behind it?

Laila: A message that I always try to send is LOVE and HOPE.  An outfit can be a key to self-love.

NSPK: Tell us about the most common remark(s) you get about your personal style?

Laila: That I turn casual outfits into classy ones.

NSPK: How do you rekindle your passion for your work when you are feeling unmotivated?

Laila: I always look back to my beautiful memories and I check on my to-do list. I gain my energy back through obsserving my works.

NSPK: If you could change one thing right now about your industry what would it be?

Laila: I would give a voice to those who are willing to join the industry but cannot, due to varying obstacles.

NSPK: What work/project in your career thus far are you most proud of?

Laila: Organising the Ikwize fashion show in 2016, it was a dream-come-true event for me.

NSPK: What useful development (it could be an innovation in technology or a new culture) are you hoping to see in your industry, that you believe will be immensely beneficial for the future.

Laila: I would say; we should see more diversity in the industry, this would be a good achievement.

Lifestyle Section

  1. Twitter or IG? – IG
  2. Notepad or eWriter? – Notepad
  3. Coffee or Tea? – Coffee
  4. Read a book or Listen to a podcast? – A tricky one, I’m into both, but right now, I’m into podcasts more.
  5. Comfort or Fashionable? – Comfort
  6. Current song on replay?All I ever need by Austin Mahone
  7. Favourite TV show of all time? – The originals…… “Always and Forever”
  8. Your Idea for a perfect date? – A surprise dinner
  9. Favourite perfume/makeup brand?COCO Mademoiselle/MAC
  10. If you had to wear one fashion brand for the rest of your life, who?MODANISA, Sebinaah.