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Friday 14th of June 2024

Nairobi, Kenya

President William Ruto Inaugurates First Vivo Fashion Store in Atlanta, Georgia

Posted On : May 22, 2024

Oscar Alochi

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Atlanta, Georgia — In a landmark event highlighting African innovation and entrepreneurship, President William Ruto officially opened Vivo Fashion Group’s first U.S. store at Atlanta Station Mall on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. This historic occasion marked a significant milestone for the Kenyan retail fashion giant as it expanded its footprint beyond Africa for the first time.

President Ruto, in his speech, celebrated the achievements of Vivo Fashion Group and its co-founder, Wandia Gichuru. “This is not just a win for Vivo, but for Kenya and Africa as a whole. It showcases the global potential of African brands and the entrepreneurial spirit that drives our continent forward,” he remarked. “The powerful story of Vivo Fashion Group demonstrates the impact of visionary enterprise and spotlights the role of women in leadership, business, and entrepreneurship.”

Wandia Gichuru, the CEO of Vivo Fashion Group, co-founded the company 13 years ago. President Ruto praised the company for its remarkable journey and growth, stating that it is now one of East Africa’s largest fashion brands. “The bold colors, striking patterns, vibrant textures, and meticulous designs that surround us reflect the diversity and rich history of Kenya and the African continent. Your designs beautifully merge traditional and modern African styles and symbolism,” Ruto added.

Vivo Fashion Group designs and manufactures all its products in Kenya and operates 25 outlets throughout the region, employing more than 380 individuals. Ruto also highlighted Vivo’s successful participation in the Nairobi Securities Exchange Ibuka Program. “Through the program, Vivo should find it easier to access various equity or debt capital markets to finance business growth and further development,” he stated.

The grand opening in Atlanta was a vibrant affair, attended by a diverse audience of dignitaries, business leaders, and fashion enthusiasts. The store’s entrance was adorned with Kenyan flags and vibrant African patterns, creating an atmosphere that paid homage to Vivo’s roots while embracing its new international chapter.

Wandia Gichuru expressed her gratitude and excitement at the event. “To see our brand, which started in my living room in Nairobi, now opening a store in Atlanta, is truly a dream come true. This moment is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and passion of our entire team and the support of our loyal customers,” Gichuru said, her voice filled with emotion.

Guests at the opening were treated to a showcase of Vivo’s latest collection, which seamlessly blends African style with contemporary fashion trends. The new store features a wide array of clothing and accessories, emphasizing Vivo’s commitment to quality, comfort, and affordability.

President Ruto’s state visit to the United States, at the invitation of U.S. President Joe Biden, is the first by a Kenyan president in two decades and the first by an African leader in 16 years. The President’s visit began at the Atlanta University Center and will continue in Washington, DC, where he is scheduled to meet with President Biden to discuss trade and security partnerships, including Kenya’s pledge to lead a multinational mission to restore order in Haiti.

The opening of the Vivo store in Atlanta is not just a business expansion; it symbolizes the breaking of barriers and the forging of new paths for African enterprises on the global stage. As Vivo Fashion Group continues to grow, it remains rooted in its mission to empower African women through fashion and to bring the vibrancy of African culture to the world.

Photos by Nesh Maina, Office of the First Lady, Republic of Kenya & NFH Digital Team

Oscar Alochi

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