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Engineer Uses First Paycheck to Start Fashion Line Celebrating African Culture

Detroit-based engineer Muktar Onifade is using his skills working as an engineer to create a fashion line that celebrates West African culture.

The 26-year-old native Nigerian and General Motors calibration specialist said he was inspired to launch his line, VIZUVLGVD (Visual Gods), after going to a fashion show featuring beautiful African styles.

“To be Black now, you have to be fearless really,” Onifade says in a Thursday, Feb. 9 NBC Black profile. “There has to be this certain level of self-belief in what you can accomplish.”

Onifade saw an opportunity to make a line that could be worn anywhere and any time outside of special occasions and events. To put his plan into action, he took his first paycheck from working at GM and brought a sewing machine.

Since 2015, his VIZUVLGVD line has featured two collections that showcase his meticulous engineering talents and his African cultural heritage.

“There’s some type of emotion that’s attached to African design,” he explains. “There’s a lot of memories in it. There’s a lot of culture.”


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