A 10-year-old fashion designer is using her experience as a victim of bullying to start her career. Egypt Ufele, popularly called “Ify,” was repeatedly bullied for her size at her grade school in Queens, New York.
“I was bullied and they called me all kinds of names,” she says. “One time I got stabbed with a pencil.”
But instead of letting it put her down, Ufele began hand-sewing clothes for her dolls and eventually learned how to use a sewing machine to make clothes for all body types, Ufele’s grandmother says.
Now Ufele has become the only child designer to dress curvy models at New York Fashion Week. According to her website, Ufele’s designs, Chubiiline, are about “bringing Africa to American, one design at a time.”
And not only is she loving her budding career but Ufele is proud of how she got here.
“I turned negative attention into positive attention,” she says.
The results, an African-inspired collection packed with bold hues, tribal prints, and shapes that fits women and girls of all sizes, have earned her attention from anti-bullying groups and fashion lovers.