Tina Brad real name Christine Akello is one who has made her name from fabric and some real great innovation. From a fresh graduate who always desired to have an attachment with fashion to a prominent brand that has rubbed shoulders with miss world, we bring you the inspiring story of Tina Brad.
In 2018, Tina Brad styled Miss World Vanessa Pounce in 2018. “It came when I least expected it” she says with a broad smile. “Tina Brad is a brand for Adventurers, initially we used to bring all sorts of clothes but then we got to a point where we wanted to stand out that’s when we started bringing in gowns, bridal, pegeantry, red carpet among others” she added.
We had an interview with her as she told us her journey.
What’s your interest in styling beauty Queens?
Actually, it’s not about interest, its quality, for sure; these girls always look for me because my brand stands out of the rest, they reach out for me for their different events.
I find pageantry interesting because the girls are really beautiful; they have nice bodies which bring out beauty in all its forms.
What is this special thing that makes you partner with these beauty queens?
It’s our work relations, most of them are humble for example, Sylivia Namutebi is a very humble and honest person and their brands are also international.honestly, who wouldn’t want to work with the best?
Should we assume such partnerships bring more value to Tina Brad Store?
Yes, they do, as a matter of fact; exposure is one of the biggest elements which come with these partnerships. For example, when I dressed Miss World many people started contacting me.
Talking about Vanessa Pounce, how did you persuade her to your brand?
It was all God’s intervention. First of all, when I was told to dress up Miss World, I thought it was just a hype for the Miss Uganda crowning. I couldn’t believe it because hey look, this is someone who has it all, she would be dressed by many big brands out there and Tina isn’t really that big.
I wondered to myself, that Vanessa has everything, why would she ask for a dress in Uganda yet she could order it anywhere in the world? I felt like I couldn’t style her but things turned up on a good side and in the end, I was the one who dressed her up.
How did it feel Styling Miss World?
OMG!… for sure Benjamen,I have never woken up from that dream, honestly it was something huge, I couldn’t believe it but as you know, it all happened.
First of all, it started when Quinn Abenakyo was in West Africa; Ghana for Miss Ghana with Vanessa and she loved the dress Quinn was wearing.
Vanessa asked Abenakyo where she got it from and was told her she got it in Uganda and she was very surprised to know that such dresses were in Uganda. She told Abenakyo that she would love to be dressed by the same stylist when she made her way to Uganda.
And finally when Vanessa was coming to Uganda, Abenakyo called me and said I should be ready to dress her up. After designing the dress, I sent Abenakyo the photos of the dress and they really loved it.
I took everything to Sheraton and she really loved it and took it in immediately and that’s the dress she used for the Miss Uganda crowning occasion.
What was the impact of you styling Miss World in the international scene?
Well, most of the people who contacted me were Ugandans in the Diaspora, they would place in their orders and I managed to deliver their orders.
I was also called to dress Miss Uganda North America and other contestants but I just declined the offer because I couldn’t travel there.
Which big names in the World are you dying to style?
Huh! I think the former first lady of America Melania Trump because I love her style and I also love Kate Middleton
What Message do you have for young girls looking out to be in your shoes?
They always follow their dreams and above all; passion.
For my case, I grew up loving and having bigger dreams for fashion and I think I started realizing it not only when People used to love what I was wearing but then I used to style myself very well way back when I was still in University, My friends used to buy my staff for example all the bags I used, someone would just see me with them bag and they be like, I love this bag, you are not going back with it, sell it to me and I would get a kavera to carry my things.
So to me it has always been passion. Let them follow their passion; let nobody tell them they can’t.
There is also this element called persistence, if you are not persistent, then you can’t achieve your dreams.
If I could take you back memory lane, I do remember there was a big store in Uganda back then that I used to admire so much that I really wanted to work for and I could keep pastering them for a job.
Even if it meant me sweeping their store or offices, I would love to do not until I could one day be a sales girl but they never hired me.to assure you that didn’t hinder me from dreaming big and guess what, last year, the same store contacted me, wanting to bring their clothes to my shop so that I could sell them in my shop, so it showed me that nothing is impossible.
Just imagine this is the same store I badly wanted to work for but instead they are now the ones looking for me, they are the one telling me can you please help us sell this, they are the ones now looking for me.
Much as i was young, my dream was big and it remained big, I couldn’t rest until I got what I wanted. For sure I would advise someone out there not to give up. The People you admire today may admire you tomorrow.
It starts with passion, what do you love and if you love it, go for it and even when you start, advertise. Most people use social media for the wrong reasons, they attack each other, they fight.
When I was working with NTV for the Hostel series I would style those actors and actresses and I would get my clothes from Owino and dress them. They would appear on the front pages of renowned newspapers including Red pepper, you see Helen Lukoma but the dresses she was wearing were mine that I had bought from Owino and no one would even notice that.
I would post everything on social media.One thing I would love to inform someone out there is that, don’t wake up to attack people, wake up and post bag on your Facebook, Twitter among others.
There are bags downtown of shs10k that you can sell at 50k,if you can get shoes, bags or clothes put them on social media every day, you will definitely find buyers. Make money off social media and don’t use it to attack others.