ÚCHÈ: Where Nigerian Heritage Meets Modern Design

ÚCHÈ: Where Nigerian Heritage Meets Modern Design


In the dynamic world of fashion, certain brands stand out not just for their unique designs but also for the stories and visions that drive them. ÚCHÈ, a brand born out of necessity and creativity, offers a fresh perspective on fashion for tall men and women. The visionary behind ÚCHÈ, Uche Joy Orah, who goes by "Joy," shared her journey and the inspirations that have shaped this remarkable brand. Join us as we delve into the story of ÚCHÈ and its creator.

LNB: Can you tell us about the origin of ÚCHÈ and the vision behind the brand?

Joy: ÚCHÈ was born in 2019 from a pressing need for stylish clothing that catered specifically to tall men and women. Standing at 180 cm tall and with a curvier figure, I often struggled to find well-fitting, fashionable clothes. This personal challenge inspired the creation of ÚCHÈ. Today, we offer bespoke options, allowing customers to input their measurements and receive customised pieces at no additional cost.

LNB: Can you share the story behind the name ÚCHÈ and how it reflects the brand?

Joy: ÚCHÈ is a common unisex name among the Igbos of Eastern Nigeria. It is my first name, derived from Uchechukwu, which means the will, intention, or mind of God. The word "Uche" encompasses various meanings such as will, purpose, mind, sense, determination, aim, intention, and ideas.

The apostrophes above the letters U and E are intonation marks that guide proper pronunciation in Igbo: Ú for high tone and È for low tone - ÚCHÈ. For me, "ideas" encapsulates all its meanings, as each release is a raw, uncensored reflection of my creativity, directly from my mind to my customers.

LNB: How did your Nigerian heritage influence the founding principles and design philosophy of ÚCHÈ?

Joy: My Nigerian heritage plays a profound role in shaping ÚCHÈ. Nigeria is a diverse nation with 371 tribes, each with unique languages, cuisines, and traditional attire. Growing up, I was fascinated by this cultural diversity. My fashion-forward father, unafraid to experiment with traditional attires from various tribes, greatly influenced me.

In my last collection, for instance, I drew inspiration from the Agbada, a traditional robe worn by the Yoruba people of Western Nigeria, and modernised it using denim and velvet fabrics. Future collections will continue to reflect Nigeria's rich cultural tapestry, showcasing pieces inspired by various tribes. My heritage provides an endless source of creativity, allowing me to appreciate and incorporate these diverse influences into my designs.

LNB: As a self-taught designer and woman-owned business, what challenges did you face when starting ÚCHÈ, and how did you overcome them?

Joy: My journey to becoming the creative director of ÚCHÈ began as a nursing student, transitioned to various sales roles, and ultimately led to founding my brand. Being a self-taught female designer in a male-dominated industry presented significant challenges, particularly the lack of connections and access associated with prestigious fashion schools.

To overcome these obstacles, I focused on consistency, producing exceptional designs, and never compromising on quality. This dedication and perseverance have paid off, as the world is now taking notice of ÚCHÈ. My journey has been one of resilience, and I am grateful for the strength and opportunities it has brought me.

LNB: How has the international location in Dubai influenced ÚCHÈ’s customer base and main markets?

Joy: Dubai is my favourite city in the world, and it offers incredible advantages for ÚCHÈ. Being in Dubai allows for quick and efficient connections with customers, particularly in the US, where items can be delivered within three days. Europe receives even faster service. As a global hub for major courier companies like DHL and FedEx, Dubai makes it easy to send samples and swatches to buyers quickly. This strategic location enhances our ability to provide excellent service to our international customer base.

LNB: Where can your products be found?

Joy: ÚCHÈ products are available online at www.uche.world. They can also be found in:

  • Germany: Studio 183, Zalando

  • Sweden: The Forumist Store

  • United Kingdom: Wolf & Badger

  • United States: Not Just A Label, Shop Style, LYST

LNB: Why did you choose to integrate the LE NEW BLACK platform into your wholesale solution?

Joy: I chose LE NEW BLACK because their presentation aligns perfectly with ÚCHÈ’s clean and refined aesthetics. The integrity of our high-resolution images is maintained, ensuring our brand is presented exactly as intended. This platform is a great tool for communicating with new clients.

LNB: What features of the LE NEW BLACK platform have had the greatest impact on your wholesale strategy?

Joy: The team at LNB is exceptional—professional, friendly, attentive, knowledgeable, and responsive. This makes it easy to navigate the platform, supplemented by extensive teaching materials for new users. The most impactful feature, in my opinion, is the Audience report. It provides detailed insights into audience actions on our page, guiding us to make adjustments and improve performance.

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