Kutula's clothes are rich in color and African history. They’re a favorite on the red carpet. Stars like David Oyelowo, Angela Bassett, Lupita Nyongo, and the late Chadwick Boseman, and their family members wore them to premieres.
Kutula itself is a family story. Francesca Anuluoha started it in 1971 after she arrived in Los Angeles from Zambia. She told NBC4 about the 70s— when her daughters were little — and African fashion was beginning to take off as an individual expression.
“We’re adventurers, we were allowed to be adventurers and we did what we wanted to do,” said Anuluoha.
Fifty years later, Kutula’s clothes are once again the rage. The Black Lives Matter movement, and a summer of racial justice protests and awakening, have led to a new generation of Angelenos looking to express their African heritage.
“Individually people have come to us and made a decision to now start wearing clothing in their daily life,” says Nyambo Anuluoha Francesca’s daughter and co-owner of Kutula.
From formal wear, like the senator suit, a favorite of Boseman's, to more casual wear like the dashiki, all of the clothes at Kutula have roots in Africa.
Francesca has now handed the business to her two daughters, Nyambo and Kay, who say they don’t only see each other as family, but also the community around them.
Everyone is a family member, everyone is part of the tribe, say Nyambo and Kay.
Those interested on getting an outfit, being fitted, or shopping off the rack at Kutula can visit the store in View Park-Windsor Hills. The clothes go from $50 and up.
Click here to visit the store's website.
Francesca is retired but she still travels regularly from Zambia to Los Angeles, keeping an eye on new prints, and appreciating that her daughter's dedication has enabled Kutula to reach 50 years and beyond.