Egypt “Ify” Ufele calls herself “a child prodigy making power moves” and “a chronicler of the human condition, for better or worse.” While these are lofty, aspirational terms not commonly used by fifth-graders, they are surprisingly fitting for Ify, who has been making waves for her fashion designs as well as her anti-bullying efforts. Ify, once a victim of bullying herself, was targeted by other children for her weight. This strong-willed 10 year-old fought back in an inventive way, saying “I turned negative attention into positive attention.” She used her grandmother’s sewing machine and created her own clothing line called Chubiiline, which includes plus-size designs. The dresses, skirts, and tops with cheerful colors and vibrant patterns are inspired by Africa as well as urban life and show remarkable skill and design diversity for a fifth-grader, albeit one who became interested in sewing at age 3 while watching her grandmother sew. Impressively, Ify’s Chubiiline was shown at the recent New York Fashion Week — and her show was only one of a handful that included plus-size models on the runway out of almost 150 shows. Ify’s other passion is creating a space for anti-bullying efforts. Bullychasers currently has a Facebook page and an Instagram account to provide inspiration to others and empower kids to believe in themselves. Ify also regularly speaks at community groups to spread her message of body acceptance and kindness. Hot on the heels of her attention-grabbing Fashion Week appearance and with her mother (as well as a publicist) by her side, this mini mogul is destined to do great things… and look stylish all the while.
Image © Chubiiline