Lela Boutique

The Zuri Dress

Lela BoutiqueComment

Is it a dress? Is it a Jacket? Or is it a skirt? 

It’s all three, actually. And then some. 

If you’ve spent any time at Lela then you’ve seen our ever changing collection of Zuri dresses. Zuri dresses are amazing, in that they can be worn as a jacket, dress, tunic or skit. Their patterns are always bright and unique. They are a bold and fashionable addition to anyone’s closet. But do you know the story behind Zuri? 

It was 2016 and New York City designer Sandra Zhao was living in Nairobi, Kenya. As she was packing for a trip to South Sudan she wanted something to wear that was easy, versatile, and that wouldn’t wrinkle. Being a designer she decided to create the dress she was looking for. And thus, the Zuri dress was born. Sandra started wearing it everywhere, including to a wedding where she met Ashley Gersh Miller. Ashley loved the dress and the two women soon decided to go into business together. 

Sandra and Ashley source their fabric from all around the African continent. Mainly Tanzania, Congo, and Nigeria. They also partner with Soko, an organization in Kenya that offers sustainable livelihoods as an alternative to prostitution, which is common in impoverished areas of Kenya. Instead, women lean to sew and become entrepreneurs. Zuri has an incredible commitment to empowering women. Both the women who wear the dress and the women who make the dress.     

If you haven’t bought a Zuri yet stop in and see what designs we have. The patterns are always changing. Make sure to grab your favorite before it’s gone. 

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