For most Ugandans, wearing ‘first-hand’ clothes is something worth relishing, while the thought of owning designer outfits from world-renowned fashion houses such as Calvin Klein, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Van Heusen, Chaps, Ecko, Clarks, Next, Marks and Spencer, Gap, Dolce and Gabbana, is simply a pipe dream.
In fact, for most Ugandans, the closest they get to these top fashion products is when they land on a catalogue or magazine with pictures. Otherwise, they will catch glimpses of them on TV during events such as the Grammy or Oscar awards. Top celebrities like Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez, Beyonceacute Knowles, among others, usually give interviews to the media about their designer outfits.
Most Ugandans will just sit back to admire them (clothes, jewellery and shoes), with little chance of ever owning them. It isn’t just a case of disinterest, but the out-of-reach prices. Oftentimes, dresses, shoes, watches, trousers, perfumes and shirts from top design houses are seen to cost an arm and a leg in the Ugandan context. A cheap dress of, say, $300 (Shs 795,000) could be one’s monthly pay.
However, if you have been frowning at designer clothes all your life because they were out of your league, you don’t have to hold that view anymore. This is because Uganda Online Shoppers (UOS), a recent business creation, may just be the answer to your dreams, as it could very well bring that designer outfit you have always wished for, right up to your doorstep.
And more importantly, it will do so on terms, conditions and prices that will simply floor you. Victoria Polte, the person behind this whole concept, is a Ugandan married to a German and based in the United Kingdom.
“As an enthusiast of information technology and online fashion, I and my colleagues were inspired to bring a smile to the faces of people in Africa (Uganda) from a fashion stand-point,” says Polte.
She adds that it hurts to see that Uganda is a dumping ground for mostly secondhand and unwanted clothes from other parts of the world. This is mainly because people here find top-quality clothes just too expensive. Yet, there has been no sign that this will end soon since no fashion and designer house has expressed interest in investing in Uganda.
And with Uganda’s middle-class considered still too small, the perception is that the market here wouldn’t be substantial enough to enable them stay afloat. Polte’s view is that the Ugandan public mustn’t continue missing out on top quality and authentic outfits.
With UOS, one will be able to get whatever clothes, jewellery or shoes they want without feeling financially strained. Through UOS’s monitoring mechanism of markets in France, Germany, UK, Italy and Spain, it is able to secure designer products at a time when they are going on clearance sales in their respective countries.
Sale periods are when fashion and designer houses drastically slash their product prices and flag them off on the cheap. Normally, prices drop by 50 to 70 per cent in order to allow the clearing of old stock, and to create room for new stock. As it is, there is no better time than then to do some shopping.
Presently, designer shoes such as Clarks, wrist watches and bracelets from Next, and clothes have dropped to as low as between Shs 75,000 and Shs 125,000. And these are ‘first- hand’ products that would have ordinarily gone for as high as Shs 500,000 before the sale.
Polte explained to The Observer how the UOS service works: “You can call our Nsambya offices on +256392176144 or +256755111106 or email us on
Thereafter, you will pay 75 per cent of the total sum of the products ordered and when they are delivered, in not more than ten days, you pay up the 25 per cent balance,” says Polte.One can window-shop by visiting their website: www.ugandaonlineshoppers.com
Source : The Observer