MARIANNE Ilunga’s love for fashion started at an early age. Growing up in the Democratic Republic of Congo, she remembers spending valuable time with her godmother who was a dressmaker. She collected fashion magazines as a hobby and spent time sketching several styles she believed would eventually come to life. Her parents decided it would be a great idea to let her attend a fashion magnet high school. Shortly before graduation the Congo experienced some political turmoil, so Marianne accepted the great opportunity to move to the United States.