Kenyan designer Isabel Nyamgero, creative director at iss by iss studio share her journey as a fashion and jewelry designer read her full interview inspiration and challenges she face as a designer.
Brief introduction about issa by issa
Isabel Nyamgero: It’s actually iss by iss iss…. Iss….. which mean it simply simple but iss iss being me many of my friend call me iss iss I decided to name it iss by iss so a brief on my company is I started around 2010 but the company was registered in 2011 and I stared by doing jewelry,
I will do jewelry because growing up I liked doing stich book my father has and my mother stich a sewing machine in the house sewing machine , I liked doing dresses I want to make and look nice ,then I start doing that’s was when I was in high school when I left iss tried to do jewel I will do jewel so that’s what i started doing mainly for sale.
around 2010 so I will do it what I used to do was custom made I used to do bespoke, my friend she is a designer when she would have to do an outfit for her client I would go for the meeting and we decide on and will help her decide on if a client want jewelry I would design a piece for the neck, jewelry.
that’s how I started small small but then continuing through the years I started gaining interest on other things and I have also through the years the same 2011 I got into Theatrical production where I did wardrobe mistressing, a chief stern, I was doing commercials, I did mostly movies Leo. Shattered them. ,I went to do edit Shuga and in 2012 I did a 1 year shoot with m-net called corner that is another thing that I started doing and I got a last walk and doing costumes as well.
I would get one or two, I have a client who her daughters and sons are in Aghakan academy they normally do these costumes so she normally contracts me I think the time I did and I did tomato basically my company has different arms I have jewelry, I do the costuming, costuming for the tv production, a normal costume, a pregnancy kit, and then I also do my company has different lengths there is a line I have I do it is called refarb,
it is when your wardrobe you have old styled outfit and you want them look better or you want a different modern style so I add something and do something like add something to make it look modern or just have a different twist.
And then I have also what i have started this year I am getting into It is called a blog, a blog where I talk about myths I don’t say myths or lies and want to call them myths or lies let me say it’s like things that the world has insisted on designs or fashion or let me call them myths of fashion things like why do we wear black in weddings is this what we know now or standard thing or this is mystifying fashion.
That is among the things I want to start this year basically that is me in a nutshell ,that is what I am or if you ask me about the company that is the company and if you ask me about Isabel I pride myself as a distractor.
I am industry distractor meaning I have worked with different people and in different industries, when they need, different twist in their companies what I do I do a different twist in the company you used to doing things like this but what niche do you want in your company or in the market I am able to advise that is the other thing I used to do with clothes, friends , or companies that that is me now that is Isabella and the other is the company. I don’t know if I have explained to you what is a nutshell.
What inspired your fashion Journey?
Isabel Nyamgero: What inspired me in my fashion journey, when I started it came when I was a child I used to love flashy things, making things, then I was fortunate that in the house we had a machine and when I was in form three and four I did home science in school so I had the knowledge but actually I don’t think i had the support because everyone would go like Isabella I am an industrial chemist by academics.
I didn’t do fashion I am a scientist, so I was better in sciences when I was in school my sciences were always at the top i did A levels and then joined campus and did industrial chemist I was always top in my sciences so in a normal world people who told no Isabella scientist make more money.
they didn’t see it as a design you will be told,” why do you want to be a tailor,” am like is not being a tailor I always wanted something better I will have my dress I will not like it I will take a fabric and add something I want to take a fabric and make a skirt that looks different I grew up not liking normal ,
common I always wanted something different I think that is where my passion came from,
I always wanted something different despite that the world kept pushing me to science which i still did i came out of it saying no… no… no… so to date I have never worked in any company or any industrial chemistry we work in industries,labs.
apart from my attachment when I was in school for my internship but after that I am not and even every time go for an interview unless I go because someone has insisted I go and has an obligation and someone has been contacted in the company but my heart always want something different I think that is what design is that is what a creation is.
it started with my mum she would tell me this top looks nice you can make a skirt to go with it I think that is where my drive comes from.