Modern design meets traditional African wax prints to create ULO’s bold and vibrant fashion and lifestyle pieces.
Founder and creative director Dinzi Amboi was inspired by her West African heritage and British upbringing when creating her brand.
“ULO means ‘home’ in Igbo, the Nigerian dialect spoken by my late father,” Dinzi says.
“Growing up in Nigeria I was surrounded by an array of clashing wax fabrics and vibrant prints, which are the inspiration behind my bold designs.
“Committed to my African roots and heritage, we source an array of limited-edition wax print cotton fabrics from local vendors in Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria. This replicates the way in which my parents sourced fabrics for us to wear or furnish our home when we were living in Nigeria.”
From sourcing fabrics all the way through the design and manufacturing process, Dinzi stays true to her culture and upbringing.
“We work exclusively with African wax prints. The wax fabric is one of the most beautiful and colourful materials in the world and is at the centre of our pieces. It comes in innumerable bold and colourful patterns, with stories of heritage and tradition attached to each design,” Dinzi says.
“The bold, intricate and often quirky patterns have become emblematic of African style. I hope through our brand people will come to love the place that I call home and to find joy in all that we do here at ULO”
All of the brand’s limited edition fashion and homewares collections are designed and made in-house by the ULO team in its Melbourne studio, with the utmost focus being on craftsmanship rather than trend.
“All of our collections are made to order in-house by our team. Sustainability is at the core of what we do, which is why I am incredibly passionate about maintaining production in-house and being transparent about our processes,” she says.
“We go to great efforts to ensure that we limit any waste, which is helped by the fact that our fabrics are limited in yardage, meaning we have to be thoughtful about what we make and how we produce.
“This year, we will be focusing our efforts on some new projects, which will enable us to reduce waste even further, while still bringing joy to our community.”
Dinzi doesn’t focus on a main target audience for her designs, instead she wants to bring her pieces to everyone to cherish.
“We make clothes and lifestyle pieces for everyone regardless of age, appearance or background. We make pieces for those who want to embrace colour, appreciate good craftsmanship and who enjoy storytelling,” Dinzi says.
“Our mission has always been to bring joy using textiles that I grew up with both in Nigeria and London. We are incredibly passionate about our craft – making and designing beautiful pieces for everyone to enjoy.
“Our goal is to share the beauty of African textiles through our collections in a sustainable and honest way. We have some really exciting collaborations coming up this year and beautiful textiles to share over the next year. We really hope people enjoy and embrace the colours of Africa.”