As a girl growing up in a city in northern Togo near the Burkina Faso border in West Africa, Lili Klu figured out that a conventional education really wasn’t for her. At 15, she decided to learn a trade: sewing. She turned out to be such a natural that she was able to complete the three-year program in one year. When she moved to San Diego with her husband in 2000, she opened L.K. Fashion Boutique on El Cajon Boulevard and has recently started a non-profit program, Lili’s Fashion Academy, to teach sewing and the business of fashion design to women.
“I love the creativity (of sewing and fashion), the appreciation on a client’s face and that I could educate and empower women,” she says. “Fashion is always about risk, and one of the biggest aspects of creativity is risk. You need it if you want to be successful in the fashion industry. Risk will set you apart from all the designers, and for me to become a designer speaks to my love for fashion and sewing.”
Klu, 41, lives in the Grantville neighborhood with her husband and two sons. She took some time to talk about her new non-profit program, her favorite African fashion designers and her inspiration when creating clothes.
Read her interview on San Diego Union-Tribune.