Merging Art and Fashion with Fuata Moyo

23 May 2024, 10:00
Merging Art and Fashion with Fuata Moyo

Celebrating fashion as art in and of itself, Fuata Moyo blends fashion and art to create statement streetstyle pieces that are functional and can be treasured for years to come. 

Fuata Moyo was founded during the pandemic by a set of four siblings, Kabambi, Martine, Lucien, and Tshimaro Mbiola. During a time when the world was on pause, society was forced to slow down and find innovative and creative ways of living amidst the panic and severe loss of jobs. Fuata Moyo became both a beacon of hope and a reminder of how creative pursuits are integral to society’s survival.

Fuata moyo is a Swahili phrase that translates to ‘follow the heart’. The sibling-run brand centres and celebrates the artistic practice in its ethos. “Art was not a choice,” says Tshimaro. “It’s our birthright.”

Creativity runs through the Mbiola family. With their late father being an artist and their uncle,  a fashion designer and tailor, the set of siblings grew up with a love and appreciation for the arts. The four siblings behind Fuata Moyo are deeply involved in the design process of their garments, and imbue their personality in the pieces they create. 

“Our mission has always been to be at the forefront of an African Renaissance,” Tshimaro explains. Fuata Moyo is invested in honouring its African heritage and legacy. By working with local artisans and designers, the brand is committed to supporting and uplifting the African creative industry. “We hope to use our story to help shape a new African narrative.”

“Our intention behind every design is to tell stories,” he adds. The brand’s practice is deeply rooted in hand-rendering processes such as painting, upcycling, and reconstructing. Their appreciation of craftsmanship comes in opposition to the throw-away culture of fast fashion. By slowing down the production of the garment, Fuata Moyo focuses on creating art pieces that are grounded by the stories that already exist around us.

“Collaboration wasn't a choice; it was a means of survival,” Tshimaro says. Growing up with seven siblings and a single mother, the Mbiola brothers and sisters had only each other to rely on. “Collaboration is a fundamental part of human existence. We've taken it on as a part of our ethos, where we’re open to collaborating with everyone, from indie artists to corporate companies.”

Recently, Fuata Moyo formed a partnership with Heineken. “Working with Heineken made so much sense because, although we don't share an industry, our brand values naturally align, so bridging those two worlds was almost effortless,” Tshimaro explains. As part of the Dutch brewing company’s 150th anniversary campaign, Heineken collaborated with Fuata Moyo to create a capsule collection that celebrates the brand’s legacy. 

Fuata Moyo is currently working on a campaign called Re(LOVE), in which the brand collects clothing and shoes from its audience to repurpose and upcycle. This is another step on the siblings’ journey to forge a circular economy in a way that directly benefits its consumers.

Words by Nabeela Karim for Letterhead

Fuato Moyo’s website

Images provided and by Matty Snaps