© Maya Hayuk

Congo Clothing

Passion & Fashion With Purpose

Wynwood’s Congo Clothing sets a standard for fashion innovation, proving that purpose-driven design can be style-forward and impactful. Their philosophy leans into simplicity with a commitment to social responsibility and environmental consciousness. From partnering with local artisans to sourcing eco-friendly materials, Congo supports ethical practices in all aspects of their work. In an interview with the Wynwood BID, founder Milain Fayulu shared the principles that guide the company.


Q: What is the Style of Congo Clothing?
A: It is unique in the sense that it blends a Congolese esthetic with a western linear esthetic. We draw our inspiration from an ancient kingdom that was relatively powerful in the 17th century, in the southeastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Cuba Kingdom. Women, in particular, were very famous for their use of geometric patterns, so we incorporated those ancient traditions into our designs and merged them with more contemporary pieces.

Q: What is your design process like?
A: We like to keep things very simple. I don’t come from a fashion background, so I think about practicality and utility. We started with jackets because they are functional and can be worn throughout the seasons. We also have t-shirts, pants, basic hats and socks, so our guiding principle is Simplicity and functionality.

Q: How do you ensure that your collection appeals to a diverse range of customers?
A: Our patterns are distinctive, eye catching and typically draw people into our store.
Our relatability really comes from the fact that our silhouettes are very modern and contemporary. The blending of the two really gives the unique story of “the West meets Congo”. We are then able to layer our impact story and the work we do supporting survivors of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Once you’re hooked, we draw you into the mission part of the brand.

Q: Can you discuss your brand’s sustainability and ethical practices in designing and sourcing?
A: Our mission is to craft contemporary apparel that celebrates Congo history while uplifting its women. For us, ethics is not an afterthought, but it’s baked into the brand from day one, and so we donate 10 percent of what we generate towards funding workshops where we are teaching women sewing; the programs are 180 days, and when they graduate, they are given a sewing machine. We try to use sustainable packaging, we work with women-owned businesses, our factories have to abide by our code of conduct, and everything they do is done in accordance with the principles we believe in.

Q: What type of customer experience can shoppers expect when they visit Congo clothing?
A: When you visit the Congo Clothing store, or as I like to call it, “the Congo Lounge,” obviously there’s the clothing, but we really want you to feel like this is a home away from home. I’m sitting on a very comfortable couch that we thrifted down the street here in Wynwood; we have vinyl and a record player, along with a big communal table where you could get some work done. We also want you to interact with the clothing and learn about our story, so we want people to come in and leave with added knowledge.


116 NW 25th St