Exclusive Interview With Isabel Nyamgero Designer behind Iss By Iss Studio
What’s your take about fashion growth in Africa?
Isabel Nyamgero : actually I would tell it has really grown since I started or since I have been on earth I think it is really growing and we are getting many people are appreciating , first of all Africa has started to understand our potential of who we are and the outside world that had shunned us are starting to appreciate what we have , so you find even the white want to wear something print.
they want to buy print , everyone want to market they want to buy stuff from Africa, sell in Africa and our fashion has really grown, it is sad that when you go outside Africa you see many people are appreciating Africa more than we do and you see we are having a challenge in Kenya we are appreciating yes what we have but we want to wear Kenyan , but we don’t want to talk of Kenya so the industry is growing and even when you go outside you are getting colour band , you are getting kitenge ,
everything is leather everything is African , it has really grown from when I was young when kitenge would be my mother’s age , like you see a kitenge you are like navaa kitenge and when you are told to wear you don’t want, now we have some kids wearing and it has really shot up in a very big percentage and appreciation is growing, its just the appreciation of Kenyan artisan as opposed to Kenyan products is not but it has really grown much in Africa ,let me talk about Kenya because when I talk about south Africa , Nigeria its very different but it has really grown .
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 year from now?
Isabel Nyamgero : in the next 5 years,let me tell you I see myself as an industry receptor , meaning I am not just going to be making what I am making,
I endeavor I will have built my company in the sense that I will head the design and then someone else is taking over or I will get a partner who decide, okay fine I am taking the company you have shares because for me in five years I want to be a person changing the fashion industry to change how people are looking at fashion ,looking at designs, how people are looking the world in the eyes of creativity,
because what I would like to be In five years is not what I am doing right now coz right now I am building pieces , making jewelry , making clothes but for me that is not the bigger vision .the bigger vision is that fine we have made outfits ,fine we have made jewelry? but fine how do about these jewelry?
what does the need to know about fashion in Africa, how do I educate the mass about yes you can have nice your nice clothes, you can have nice pieces , but how do I put myself together, how do I use what I like I do to change my surrounding , to change my country what I see myself being is a change , someone who will change the outlook of the world towards designs ,world towards Africa , what I see myself doing In five years , and I see myself doing using my fashion knowledge to incorporate with that side of me.
Who would you like to work with or collaborate in fashion industry?
Isabel Nyamgero: Who I would like to work with in Africa in the world , actually that question I cannot give you a specific person , because we all have different trends , but I will give you but I cannot have specific person because I used to be that specific person who I will say I would like to work with Kiko , I would like to work with Rialto , I would like to work with Lupita stuff like that , But then I got to realize in my endeavor to look for that one person.
I worked with so many people got so many different insight that to date I don’t have to look for someone to work with , I look at what kind of mind, you find there people you would work with but they do good work they are very good but don’t have an open mind you find they probably are stingy with their fame they want you to remain under you but they are very good intellectually.
But I know I would love to work internationally, I know I would love to work under the Tv production and directors who mostly do these Epic movies where you have the old English times, clothes that you have not cleaned, how to create hero movies doing a new kind of outfit for me it’s not about who but what? what kind of situation? or what kind of surrounding?
I would like to work under but honestly I can’t give you a name because I stopped looking for names , but when people come my way I try to get the best out of it coz I realized everyone has something you can pick from . but I have worked with people before.