Kenyan-born fashion designer finds inspiration at home

By Tina Locurto | York Dispatch

If it’s a type of fabric, bet that Victoria Kageni-Woodard has it. The self-starter fashion designer based in York County has piles upon piles of colorful, patterned textiles she uses to create clothing designs of her wildest dreams.

Kageni-Woodard, born in Kenya, always felt a passion for sewing and design. With encouragement from her parents, Kageni-Woodard moved to the United States in 1991 and honed her skills at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

“It’s just fascinating to see that my life has continued to be this creative thing that keeps evolving,” Kageni-Woodard said. 

In 2016, Gusa By Victoria was founded. Now, Kageni-Woodard works with clients across the country to create custom-made shirts, dresses and bridal gowns in her studio at 7 E. Market St. in York .

Additionally, she has pre-made pieces available to shop at her online collection at

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Though it heavily depends on what she’s currently working on, Kageni-Woodard said she can finish an article of clothing like a shirt in just a few hours. A wedding dress, on the other hand, might take several months. 

Primarily, her muses and inspiration are the women who live in her community — especially women in the workforce.

“Now that I call York home, this is where I find the inspiration amongst the people that I live with,” Kageni-Woodard said.

Her influence goes beyond fashion — and she wants everyone to know that her story and talents don’t stop at the sewing machine.

Kageni-Woodard has hosted two Gusa Dining Excursions in Central Market York, in which she had the opportunity to cook traditional Kenyan dishes for the community. 

The Gusa World Music Festival, meanwhile, has been bringing together the community through a variety of instruments and songs for four years now.