A. “In high school. I attended Kenwood Academy and I made prom dresses for my friends. I've always been an artist. I decided to re-launch my line in 2012 after I returned from working in Senegal for about a year.”
Q. What makes your design “African”, and how do you think African fashion has changed over the years?
A. “I use African prints, so that's the biggest distinction. I remember when I first started designing using mud cloth and kente cloth (kente print). Now, its about bold prints in contemporary cuts.”
Q. Where are you from and how do you do what you do?
A. “Simply Cecily is a contemporary women's clothing line that fuses the traditionally stylish nature of West African women with the contemporary flair of American design. The line is known for its use of rich vibrant fabrics and amazing silhouettes. The designs are simply Cecily – a reflection of who she is as an African American designer, entrepreneur, wife, sister and friend. They represent a lot of women today who want to express who they are through their clothing. Inspired by her mother, Cecily Stewart Habimana began designing and making clothes as a young girl. By the time she reached high school, she had launched her own label Simply Cecily by making African-inspired clothes for friends, family and clientele. After receiving her MBA from George Washington University in 2009, Cecily spent a year in Senegal teaching and immersing herself in the culture. While there, she was truly inspired by the elegance of Senegalese women.”
Q. What is the most important lesson you've learned since you've been designing clothes?
A. “Live your dreams and recognize progress along the way.”