It’s no small feat to break into the competitive world of fashion design, but an even more astounding one to do so at the age of 10. Stacking the deck against her further still, Egypt Ufele, who goes by “Ify,” was being bullied at school for her size.
Ify responded in the best possible way: she designed a line of clothing that includes plus-size fashions. The kicker? She’s made it to New York Fashion Week — the only child designer to dress curvy models.
“People applaud me and tell me I’m good at fashion,” Ify said. They used to tell her very different things, at least at her school in Queens.
“I was bullied and they called me all kinds of names. One time I got stabbed by a pencil,” she said.
But Ify was determined to rise above, so she pulled out her grandmother’s sewing machine and got to work on what soon became “Chubiline,” which she describes as “bringing Africa to America, one design at a time.”
She’s certainly getting noticed. “When I see her line, I see a future in the fashion industry,” said Preston Walker, owner and founder of Small Boutique Fashion.
As for Ify, she’s happy to have shared such a positive message. “I turned negative attention into positive attention,” she said. Break a leg, Ify!