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An African-Styled Path to Success

Back when Matthew Rugamba (Botswana, Waterford Kamhlaba UWC, Lewis & Clark ’13) was an international affairs major at Lewis & Clark, his advisor urged him to do what he wanted to do — which was to work in African-themed fashion and design.

If he did, Matthew remembers his advisor saying, “I would probably have a greater impact in the field of international relations than some of my peers who were going to grad school.”

Consider the impacts he is generating so far. The fashion line Matthew created — House of Tayo, which is based in Rwanda and specializes in bowties and other men’s accessories, crafted in bold designs that blend traditional and contemporary African themes — was recently celebrated by the CNN series African Voices. Matthew works with women’s sewing cooperatives to produce his distinctive designs; CNN called him one of Africa’s “dazzling trendsetters who create their own subcultures.”

Last year Matthew was interviewed by Forbes Africa at an African venue of the 2016 World Economic Forum. In an article that was later picked up by CNBC, Matthew said he’s both aiming at an international market and working to build the fashion industry at home.

“It’s funny how my international relations background has impacted what I am doing now,” Matthew mused for CNN. To learn more, visit houseoftayo.com.