Many of us have been bullied about one thing or another, whether it be our size, skin, hair, or the clothes we wear. We all know how mean people can be. But Egypt ‘Ify’ Ufele decided to take her own stand against bullies. At her school in Queens, NY, Ify was taunted for her weight, she even was stabbed by a pencil once. But instead of letting the negativity get to her, she used to it to fuel her creativity. At first hand sewing clothes for her dolls, Ify grew to sketching and making women’s and girl’s clothing with her grandmother’s sewing machine.
Born on May 3, 2005 in Long Island, NY, Ify lives with her parents Dr. Reba Perry and Emeka Ufele. Ify has an older sister named Sade, who is also a fashion designer and a huge inspiration to her little sister. Ify’s mission was motivated by people’s reaction to her physical condition. Ify was diagnosed with a critical asthmatic condition at the age of two, and was prescribed many serious medicines and steroids that affected her weight. When she was healthy enough to return to school, Ify classmates made fun of her size, calling her chubby. In January of 2015, with mom’s help, Ify started the charity Bully Chasers. A movement dedicated to spreading awareness about bullying and gun violence, Bully Chasers supports youth who’ve dealt with bullying and gives them a platform to speak against it. Making clothing her dolls was just a hobby that Ify did in her spare time. She then decided to start making clothes for herself because she was having a hard time finding cute clothes that fit. In July, 2015 Ify’s mother and aunt helped her to showcase her line at Unique Blend Models fashion event. She named her new clothing line, ChubiiLine.
Ify made sure to make clothes for all shapes and sizes and amazingly her line, and after an interview with NY1 TV anchor, Cheryl Wills, ChubiiLine was featured in this year’s New York Fashion Week. Reaching a goal that many designers can only dream of, at the age of 10 no less, Ify is possibly the youngest designer to dress curvy models at New York Fashion Week. Since then she’s been featured on the Today Show, ABC, Huffington Post, People Magazine, CNN and Business Insider to name a few. Ify has strength way beyond her years, saying “my God is awesome…He is bringing me from tragedy to triumph. Never give up, even when the world seems cruel.” We thank Ify for being such an amazing (and young!) example of what strength and wisdom look like. Like the facebook page for Ify’s charity at https://www.facebook.com/BullyChasers-151966695147074/ and you can follow her on instagram @bullychasers!