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Victoria Kageni, Kenyan-born fashion designer, an inspiration to many in the United States



By  Judith Gicobi

Victoria Kageni-Woodard, a self-taught fashion designer from Kenya, has always had a passion for sewing and design. Kageni-Woodard traveled to the United States in 1991, encouraged by her parents, to further her education at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

“It’s just fascinating to see that my life has continued to be this creative thing that keeps evolving,” Kageni-Woodard said.

Gusa by Victoria was founded in 2016. In her studio at 7 E. Market St. in York, Kageni-Woodard now works with clients from all over the country to make custom-made shirts, dresses, and bridal gowns.

Victoria Kageni’s web collection,, also features ready-to-wear pieces.

Kageni-Woodard remarked that, she can complete an article of clothing like a shirt in only a few hours, depending on what she’s working on at the time. A bridal gown, on the other hand, could take months to make.

Her muses and inspiration are primarily the women in her neighborhood, particularly those in the workforce.

“Now that I call York home, this is where I find the inspiration amongst the people that I live with,” Kageni-Woodard said.

Her influence extends beyond the realm of fashion, and she wants people to know that her narrative and abilities aren’t limited to the sewing machine.

Kageni-Woodard has held two Gusa Dining Excursions in Central Market York, where she has cooked traditional Kenyan cuisine for the community.

For the past four years, the Gusa World Music Festival has brought the community together through a range of instruments and melodies.

“I always seem to be wanting to surround myself with good things and creativity has brought me this far,” Kageni-Woodard stated.

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