“I design for all kinds of women” – Tanzanian designer Mustafa Hassalini speaks to YNaija


We caught up with Mustafa Hassanlini who showcased his designs at the just concluded AMFW 2012 in Lagos. He took some time out of his busy schedule to talk to YNaija.

When did you get into fashion?

Well, I made my first dress in 1999, but I officially started fashion professionally in 2006. 

How did it start?

I have always been a lover of fashion since I was young. I often sketched a lot, but it wasn’t until 1999, like I said earlier, that I made my first dress. I was ecstatic when I did, and thankfully, my parents were very supportive of my decision. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Africa is my greatest source of inspiration. It is such a beautiful place to be inspired by. It has an incredible natural environment to get inspiration from. I am also inspired by travel, various countries I visit and their cultures, the world is just one big space of inspirational energy.

Favorite foods?

This collection is inspired by Asian influences. It’s part of the new collection I am working on. I made use of the stretch jersey fabrics.

Who do you design for?

I design for all kinds of women. For party-goers and working women alike. 

Do you have time to relax with your busy schedule?

I hardly ever have time to relax or have fun. The fashion business if a very demanding one, and as a result, I work all of the time. (laughs)pardon me, most of the time.

Do you have any other interests apart from fashion?

Well, I am involved in other things. Like I own a PR company back in my country. It is called 361 degrees. 

Are you in a relationship?

(Laughs) I’m divorced. But yes, I am also in a very loving relationship. 

Favourite destination(s)?

Ougadougou in Burkina-faso. It is such a beautiful and serene place. I also love Zanzibar. I have a home there, so I’m there when I want to un-wind and hide from the stress of the fashion world. 

Favorite foods?

I love Italian cuisine a lot. I haven’t gotten used to Nigerian foods yet.

It is too spicy, and has a lot of chilli in it.

Thank you for making time out of your busy schedule to talk to us and we wish you a fun filled time at AMFW.

It’s a pleasure. Thank you.






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