How Fjällräven’s Gamu Moyo Creates Women’s Clothes
The research and development designer shares her story and inspiration
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Gamu Moyo got her passion for fashion and the outdoors from her father, a farmer with a deep appreciation for well-tailored clothing. She was born in Harare, Zimbabwe, and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, in the years just after its emergence from decades of racial apartheid. She grew up embracing the ideals of personal excellence, perseverance, and academic discipline, and cultivated a defined sense of style and an abiding love of the natural world. These values led her to the Parson’s New School of Design in New York City for a degree in fine arts and—no surprise—a career crafting women’s outdoor and active apparel.
Strive for Excellence
“My parents raised us to excel and reach for the gold because it was always going to be hard for people who looked like us. And they instilled in us a fierce sense of pride and a belief that no matter what we wanted to do, we could achieve it.”
Create with Love
“I want the women I design for to feel strong and supported. I want them to know they can go farther and see more, because the gear that I’m working on will allow them to.”
Make It Work
“Our key challenges when designing for women are fit, feel, and function. Fit is particularly difficult, because women demand more and because body types vary so much. I try to think about complementing things that could live in a woman’s closet already.”
Applaud the Effort
“Ableism is the main issue I see in the outdoors community. I wish that would dissolve a little bit, because it would help us get more people to just enjoy spending time outside. We really need to do a better job of celebrating people who get to the hill down the street, because that’s a feat in itself. That is being outside.”
Make the Journey
“I don’t want to put pressure on people to think that they have to be at the highest level of performance just to enjoy the outdoors. I want them to know that being in nature is also about the experience you get from going out there—feeling independent and empowered, knowing that you’ve accomplished something. Then you can take those core values learned on the trail into living with other people and living in cities as well.”