From refugee to building the first luxury brand in Kentucky

Lukonga, founder of Albert Couture, a high-end men’s wear store, was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a central African country that has been plagued by political unrest and conflict for decades. At 10 years old, his family fled to a Zimbabwe refugee camp.Albert attended high school where he played soccer and was known as the sharpest dressed kid. This was when he met his soccer moms (Mrs. Jones and Paula) who helped mold him into the man he is today. As a child, Albert had always dreamt of having his own label someday and used all his resources to curve himself a path towards this dream.

Albert wanted to have a label that focused on an individual’s everyday lifestyle through quality, service, and detail. He traveled to Europe to meet some of the best people in the industry that could help bring his dream into a reality;

Lukonga’s vision for Albert Couture came from not being able to afford clothes while growing up in the Congo. Living below poverty in a third world country, he was still taught to iron his clothes even if they had holes, dress properly and always look put together.

He relocated to America in 2006 not knowing a word of English, but he admits that opportunities have come for him because of how well he dresses. People are often surprised to learn of his impoverished upbringing because of the way he walks, talks and dresses. It’s clear he isn’t looking for sympathy. “I could be vulnerable or I can take that energy and change it into what makes me unique and stronger. I think I have something to offer that can motivate a lot of people.”

“People can relate to my story, but I am not convinced they will start a business after hearing it. Whatever it is you want to do in life, I hope my story helps get you started.”

Albert Couture is completely self-funded. Friends and family told Lukonga he was crazy, but he simply responds, “Well I had no choice, I wanted to start now.”

Lukonga continues, “I could wait and one day when I was on this level of financial stability to start my business, but my biggest fear is that tomorrow is not promised. You make peace with that and you don’t live in fear. I think people should embrace fear and live their life as much as they can.”

His biggest goal is to educate Kentuky on how to dress while offering the best the world can give, claiming “to bring New York to Kentucky.” He hopes people can come to respect his luxury fashion label in Kentucky as they do bourbon. “Kentucky should not only be known for bourbon and horses, but that we know how to dress well.”

Offering quality products is as important as offering a quality experience; Lukonga helps cater the garments to each individual. “I think they are some things in life where you only need a professional to execute a proper suit is just one of them. I don’t want people to make their own wedding cakes with their own instructions. I want to have you in my showroom, make you a drink, and sit down for an hour to enjoy that personalized time and service. I want to bring that experience back into the state.”

Albert Couture was slated to open in February, but the pandemic delayed the showroom from opening its doors until June where his clients couldn’t resist him not opening any longer.

“The best time to plant a tree is not yesterday or tomorrow, it’s today. That’s my motto. I like to travel the road less traveled, I feel like there is more potential. It’s very lonely, but you ask yourself, what are you willing to forego today for future gains?.”

You can design your custom shoes via online and have it directly shipped to your door wherever you are in the world. The days are now over of choosing the right shoe size and style. You can build your own from anywhere through us while getting the best Spanish shoe quality there is.

All garments requires in person services at our Showroom located at 110 West Vine St. Suite 507, lexington KY. USA. Appointments only.

you can reach us on our main site: www.albertcouture.com or business instagram: @albert_couture or personal instagram: @albert_lukonga. also our facebook page: @albertcouturehouse