Wacy Zacarias, paving the way for African Textiles and Fashion

– News Article

Wacelia (Wacy) Zacarias was born in Mozambique. She left at a very young age and lived and studied in Johannesburg, London, New York and Berlin.

She is the founder of Woogui, a proudly Mozambican fashion brand created in 2008. This, her very first collection of women’s fashion items, launched her on an exciting path in the fashion industry.

Known for modern design with an emotional and cultural component that reflects contemporary Africa, the Woogui collection was showcased in Milan in June 2009, at an event that celebrated the cooperation between Mozambique and Italy. In 2010, Woogui participated for the second time at Mozambique Fashion Week, where Wacy won the award for best Young Designer 2010. In July 2011, in partnership with DDB, the Italian Embassy and FEDERMODA, the brand Woogui was invited to participate at Riccione Moda Itália, XXI edition. Wacy then had the opportunity to take part in workshops and present a collection as invited designer. She did a portfolio course in London at Central Sain Martins, and attended the Sustainable Fashion Design in Esmod, Berlin in 2014.

Initially, when it launched, the collection offered an eclectic style that mixed capulana (a type of a sarong worn primarily in Mozambique but also in other areas of south-eastern Africa)
with other fabrics in formal and casual attire. Later on, the accessories line was introduced to offer consumers a complete look proposal that included clothing, belts, jewellery, wallets, scarves and shoes. In 2013, there is a pause for training the designer in sustainable fashion and the brand appears again in 2016, now aimed at accessories produced on the basis of local

In 2015, Wacy established a partnership with fashion and textile designer, Djamila de Sousa, and together they launched Karingana Wa Karingana Textiles, a surface and textile design brand with a vision to change the narrative of African textile stories. The brand looks at preserving the rich culture of textile production on the continent, reinterpreting these methods using technology, in a sustainable way, sourced and produced in Africa. “Designed by Africans, produced by Africans, consumed by the world.”

It is the first African textile brand committed to creating sustainable and bespoke African textiles, recreating traditional African prints using technology and in new materials such as silk and jacquard. They were engaged in print design projects and textile development for clients such as Nando's, Standard Bank Mozambique, Ab-InBev, American International School of Mozambique, and many others. Karingana Textiles launched the first capulanas designed in-house in 2018.