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Thursday 11th of August 2022

Nairobi, Kenya

Africa’s Top Fashion Influencers

PARIS – With a steadily expanding middle class, Africa holds plenty of untapped potential for luxury brands. But who are the influencers who are moving the needle on the continent and beyond?

These days, global brands like Louis Vuitton, Prada, and Hermès are competing with a growing number of homegrown labels, as designers like Rich Mnisi, Kenneth Ize, Hanifa, and Thebe Magugu tap into rising demand for African-made fashion.

To succeed, Western brands must harness the power of local influencers, ranging from stars of Nigerian cinema, dubbed Nollywood, to television presenters, singers, and influencers, technology company Heuritech said in a webinar titled “Discover the African Fashion Scene.”

“The narration of African fashion cannot be done without African creatives,” said Amélie Rotsen, fashion analyst at Heuritech, which offers brands fashion trend forecasting using artificial intelligence to translate pictures shared on social media into market insights.

“People are now really quick to call out a brand for cultural appropriation, so stop any narrative based on Western imagery, and try to really call those creatives to create stories that will highlight their culture, the way they know-how,” she added.

Total private wealth held in Africa is expected to rise by 30 percent over the next 10 years, reaching $2.6 trillion by 2030, according to the “Africa Wealth Report 2021” published by AfrAsia Bank. South Africa is home to the largest luxury market in Africa by revenue, followed by Kenya and Morocco.

The bank expects Ethiopia, Mauritius, Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda to be the strongest-performing wealth markets in Africa over the next decade, with growth rates exceeding 60 percent. Solid growth is also forecast in Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, and Zambia.

“To enter the African market, it is very important for international brands to really understand the specificity of the markets and have teams directly in the field. This is especially true for influencer communication,” said Jenna McFeely, fashion curator and trend analyst at Heuritech.

“Picking the right brand ambassador requires foreign brands to do exhaustive research on the market, along with the influential figures of a particular country or field. And lastly, it’s important to consider the weight of the diaspora,” she added.

“As a result of colonization, people of African descent are present throughout the world with their heart and their wallet lying between the Western world and their roots, and this will to consume Black[-owned brands] has been reinforced,” she said, noting the power of U.S. beauty influencers like Jackie Aina and Nyma Tang.

Among the top African influencers, she listed was Nigerian actresses Adesua Etomi and Genevieve Nnaji, who have 4.3 million and 8.2 million followers on Instagram.

Nigeria has also produced major music stars such as Burna Boy and Wizkid, who posted a message on Instagram last week saying his concert at the O2 Arena in London, scheduled for Nov. 28, sold out in 12 minutes.

“While the link between film, music, and fashion does not need to be proven anymore, these artists’ global audience and edgy style make them ideal representatives for African and international designers who are hoping to attract aspirational or entry-level consumers,” McFeely said.

Popular TV personalities include Bonang Matheba, known for her catchphrase “Champagne, darling!”, who has launched several fashion lines and her own sparkling wine brand, House of BNG, in addition to starring in the reality TV show “Being Bonang.”

Citing Nigerian public relations firm Redrick, McFeely recommended that brands targeting luxury consumers rely on high-net-worth individuals like the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who inspired Maria Grazia Chiuri’s first collection for Dior with her essay “We Should All Be Feminists.”

“There’s also the influencer market with entrepreneur women and travel enthusiasts like Boity Thulo, who showcases the lavish side of Africa, which is aspirational, to say the least,” McFeely added.

“And finally, there’s the promise of Afro cyber influencers who might be a new fun outlet, given the success encountered by Lil Miquela, who is another virtual influencer,” she said, citing the example of digital model Ivaany.

In parallel, WWD asked data research and insights company Launchmetrics to compile data on the top five African influencers ranked by media impact value or MIV. Based on a proprietary algorithm, the measure estimates the value of coverage across social networks and in the media.

1. Mihlali Ndamase (@mihlalii_n): 1.4 million followers on Instagram, 59 percent of the engaged audience from South Africa

The makeup artist and content creator, also known as Mihlali N, bills herself as the biggest beauty YouTuber in South Africa with 345,000 subscribers.

She recently generated $143,000 in MIV for a post with Fashion Nova, $112,000 for a post with Revlon, and $80,000 for a post with Dior makeup.

Featured on Forbes Africa’s “30 Under 30” list this year, Ndamase has expanded into luxury and lifestyle content, via paid partnerships with the likes of Radisson Hotels and Protea Hotels by Marriott.

2. Temiloluwa Otedola (@temiotedola): 1.2 million followers on Instagram, 54 percent of the engaged audience from Nigeria

The daughter of Femi Otedola, a Nigerian billionaire active in sectors including energy, and younger sister of music star DJ Cuppy, Temi Otedola established her presence with the launch in 2014 of a blog covering areas spanning fashion, travel, and a book club.

Her Instagram post about Etro’s Forte Dei Marmi pop-up in June generated $113,000 in MIV, while a post with Farfetch in 2020 was worth $68,000, reflecting the progression in her follower count.

Otedola made her acting debut last year as the female lead in Nigerian director Kunle Afolayan’s film “Citation,” the story of a university student who accuses a professor of sexual harassment, which is available to stream on Netflix.

3. Kefilwe Mabote (@kefilwe_mabote): 1.2 million followers on Instagram, 56 percent of the engaged audience from South Africa

Born in the township of Soweto in Johannesburg, Mabote last year published her autobiography “Kefilwe Mabote: Influencer De Luxe – From Soweto to Milan,” which doubles as a guide to becoming an influencer.

Known for her glamorous style, she generated $49,000 in MIV for a post with Ugg in May, but can generally be seen in high-end designer clothing by the likes of Burberry, Tom Ford, and Versace. She even has a dedicated website, kefiscloset.com, to sell her castoffs.

Mabote’s personal life made headlines last year when her then-boyfriend, businessman Edwin Sodi, was caught up in a corruption scandal. She subsequently lost a defamation lawsuit against the weekly tabloid Sunday World.

4. Lesego Legobane (@thickleeyonce): 765,000 followers on Instagram, 66 percent of the engaged audience from South Africa

Photographer, plus-size model and body positivity activist Legobane known professionally as Thickleeyonce also has her own online clothing store, Leebex.

A recent post with Fashion Nova Curve generated $39,000 in MIV; another with Bombay Sapphire was worth $63,000, and a third for Beyoncé’s Ivy Park collection with Adidas generated $50,000.

Legobane revealed last year that she had been selected as an influencer for Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty lingerie line, but last week called out the brand on Twitter for not offering any pay. The tweet was subsequently taken down, but she posted a separate message that read: “Pay Influencers. Creating Content Is Work.”

5. Sarah Langa (@sarahlanga), 579,000 followers on Instagram, 61 percent of the engaged audience from South Africa

A close friend of fellow influencer Kefilwe Mabote’s, Langa landed her first paid gig with South African department store chain Woolworths in 2015. She has frequently countered criticism from haters by highlighting her academic achievements, which she lists on her Instagram biography.

Langa works with a variety of brands including hairstyling appliances company GHD and mobile phone maker Samsung. She generated $31,000 in MIV for a recent post with fast-fashion e-tailer PrettyLittleThing; $26,000 with Nespresso, and $16,000 with Patrón Tequila.

One of her most recent Instagram posts shows her unboxing an Hermès Birkin handbag in a promotion for luxury goods sourcing service Aquarius Luxury Concierge.

Content courtesy of WWD & Nairobi fashion hub

 

 

Every Look From Thebe Magugu Fall/winter 2021

The South African Designer Looks Towards The Fantastically-occult For His Latest Short Film And Collection

At the intersection of Black History Month and Women’s History Month, fashion has found a way to honor the strong, female ancestors that came before them.

For South African designer Thebe Magugu, it was an easy choice. At the core of his Fall/Winter 2021 collection, African spirituality and female divination are celebrated at full volume. The collection titled “Alchemy” explores the occult, cultural heritage of the South African upbringing, and the modern women changing the landscape.

“This season, I wanted to have a conversation with traditional healers, who have divinely been given powers to answer our most burning questions, and who act as a conduit between various realms, often by using objects of divination,” The LVMH prize-winning young designer writes. “It’s a very particular kind of strength, one that doesn’t show-off and relies heavily on the natural.”

In lieu of a traditional runway for Paris Fashion Week, like many other labels, Thebe Magugu’s instead greenlit a short film to showcase the Fall/Winter 2021 garments. The film, titled BANYOLOYI A BOSIGO (Ultimate Midnite Angels), tells a Romeo and Juliette-esque story of neighboring tribes in the desert. Shot and written by Kristin-Lee Moolman, the film expresses the intersectionality behind modern South African women and how they are not a monolith.

“I want female characters to have their own agency and can be heroes or anti-heroes without having to conform to the cinematic trope of women having to go experience major trauma to be allowed to be the same level of ‘badass’ as their male character counterparts,” Moolman writes.

Magugu’s collections often have a sociopolitical meaning. The South Africa-based designer’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection was an ode to the revolutionaries who fought to end apartheid while his Spring/Summer 2021 collection honed in on Johannesburg’s spies in the latter half of the 20th century.

The collection’s draping, colors, and textures all allude to the magical elements found in his homeland. Sharp tailoring, high hats, and fluttering capes add a mystical perspective to Magugu’s models. On a plain background standing at the center of a rug, the models highlighted in the campaign give the camera an icy stare, as if they are hexing you with their divine powers.

Dressed as warriors, feminine healers, and modern working-women, Magugu incorporates both the spiritual and fun. A hat made of light blue dyed feathers sits atop a model’s head while fringed detailing adds a playful, ’70s touch to the bottom of skirts and dresses. The look isn’t complete without a pillbox hat, a sign of American royalty and elegance in the days of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis.

Every cut, print, and dye is integral to the label’s storytelling. The designer worked with Noentla Khumalo, a stylist, and healer who provided inspiration for Magugu’s occult-chic prints. Fabric makers Larisa Don, Adachi San, and BYBORRE used traditional materials and practices to inject spirituality into the DNA of Magugu’s work. The short garment list, clocking in at just under 20 looks, is another testament to Magugu’s continued efforts involving sustainability.

Check out the gallery above to see every look from Thebe Magugu’s Fall/Winter 2021 collection.

Content courtesy of  CR Fashion Book & Nairobi fashion hub 

Whitney Madueke Re-envisions Traditional Nigerian Fabrics for a New Generation

Growing up, Whitney Madueke watched on the sidelines as her parents got dressed up for Nigerian weddings and parties. “My dad would play pretty background music and you knew he was getting ready to go out,” she says, laughing. “I was mesmerized at how my parents would pair their traditional Nigerian attire with modern pieces from the Western world tradition, mixed with, like, a pair of Gucci sunglasses,” she quips.

As a student in England, Madueke realized that her own cultural encounters started influencing her fashion choices in the same way as her father a mix of trendy and time-honored pieces. “I started mixing Nigerian pieces like a Buba blouse, a top with long loose style sleeves, with a pair of jeans.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CBL3ax6HI2z/?utm_source=ig_embed

Or I’d find myself mixing traditional silk fabrics with more modern materials,” she says. Drawing on her African background and her love of fashion, Madueke, 26, set out to launch her own eponymous fashion line, which went live on her website and on Instagram in June. Currently living in New York, Madueke frequently travels back to London to visit her siblings and spends winters with her parents in Nigeria, where her line is based.

Here, we chat with Madueke about her own style, her clothing line, and her favorite designers to shop now.

Marie Claire: How did you get your start in fashion?

Whitney Madueke: Since I was little, I’ve had an interest in fashion and fashion design. I wanted to study fashion in college, but I figured my parents would say no to that, so I went to college in England to study law. I needed a creative outlet there, so I started a fashion and beauty YouTube channel and an Instagram but I wasn’t really happy with law. I was like, What is my life? What’s my next step? I needed to do something that would make me happy, so I decided to move to New York to study fashion design at Parsons in their Associate’s Degrees for Professionals program. Last year, I started working on the launch of my clothing brand, Whitney Madueke.

MC: What was the inspiration behind your new fashion line?

WM: Nigerian fashion represents the people, but it also tells the story of the country and its surrounding nature. I wanted my clothing line to tell more African stories and to expand on who I am as a Nigerian and African woman in the fabrics, the silhouettes, and the vibrant colors.

MC: Tell us about Lagos Fashion Week.

WM: Just like New York, Lagos fashion week is a great way for the fashion community to connect with one another. Designers tell stories through their collections using traditional Nigerian fabrics like Adire fabrics, Kente and Akwete cloths. As a Nigerian fashion designer, I love celebrating a diverse group of designers telling the story of home. Lagos Fashion Week was scheduled for late October this year, but in light of the #EndSARS protests [centered around police brutality in Nigeria], the event has been postponed.

MC: How do you get dressed in the morning?

WM: It depends on how I feel that day, but I tend to gravitate towards bright colors, especially vibrant, primary colors that stand out in a room. I also love versatility I’m always looking for great basics that I can pair in numerous different ways.

MC: Who are some of your favorite designers right now?

WM: Social media has made it so much more accessible for global designers to have a voice, and I’m able to actively find and support more African designers. Two of my favorites are Abiola Olusola and Onalaja. Both are Black women designers that embody timeless fashion. Their pieces are crafted from African textiles and include intricate beading techniques.

Written By Marie Claire

Content courtesy of Marie Daire & Nairobi fashion hub 

Podcast: Fashion Africa Now addresses the African fashion industry with Omoyemi Akerele and Roberta Annan

Beatrace Angut Oola discussed the African fashion industry with female bosses Omoyemi Akerele and Roberta Annan on the newly launched podcast, Fashion Africa Now.

With years of experience in the African fashion industry, Akerele and Annan agree there is a need for collaboration and infrastructure amongst resident Africans.

Akerele said in a statement: “African fashion is not a trend. It’s here to stay. Not just a philosophised and a romanticised movement… There are people whose lives depend on this ecosystem.”

#1 EPISODE 21 OCTOBER 2020

Female Bosses of Fashion in Africa: Omoyemi Akerele & Roberta Annan

Listen in to a candid and fiery conversation Beatrace Angut Oola has with Omoyemi Akerele, live in Lagos, the highly sought-after driving force for much of Nigeria’s fashion industry; and Roberta Annan, with a strong business development background who kickstarted her place in fashion in the UN, and live in Accra.

Listen to her Podcast 

With years of experience in the African fashion industry, these formidable women agree on the need for infrastructure and collaboration amongst resident Africans and in the diaspora. “African fashion is not a trend. It’s here to stay. Not just a philosophised and a romanticised movement… There are people whose lives depend on this ecosystem” (Omoyemi). So we ask you, what is African fashion?

Introducing Fashion Africa Now’s Podcast

The first episode of Fashion Africa Now Podcast will drop soon, and Beatrace Angut Oola will be airing every second Wednesday. Here’s a quick taste of what’s to come. Stay tuned…

Content courtesy of Fashion Africa Now, Fashion United Uk & Nairobi fashion hub

Nat & Liv

The series features social influencers and cousins Natalie Halcro and Olivia Pierson, along with their close-knit families, as they juggle their lives between the beauty and fame of Los Angeles and their humble and hilarious roots in Vancouver.

 

Having established themselves as beauty and fashion influencers over the last few years, Natalie and Olivia have grown considerable social media followings, but they know that in order to make it in Los Angeles they need to do more than take a good selfie.

We wanted to create a line for women to feel confident, fearless and powerful. When developing these styles it was important for us to select elegant textures and colors to accentuate the curves of each and every figure.

We are so excited to share these pieces with you and truly hope they bring you as much joy as they have brought us. We can’t wait for you to share your photos with us!

After gaining business experience through various brand partnerships, Nat and Liv look to their brothers, Joel and Owen, to help build their brand as they work toward curating their first fashion line. The girls take time from their busy schedules to go back to Vancouver, showing a portion of their lives that can’t be found on any social platform.

Their loud and lively moms, Rhonda and Julia, are sisters and the glue that holds this eccentric group together through vacations and weekly Sunday night dinners.

Natalie is also close with her sister Stephanie, the eldest cousin, who is a free-spirited, eclectic personality and sometimes struggles to find her place in the group, often identifying herself as the “black sheep.” From quirky parents to competitive siblings, this crew takes on all of life’s adventures together and proves that no amount of fame can rival a family’s bond.

Relatively Nat & Liv is produced by Machete Productions and Cineflix.

This article originally appeared on NBC

The top 10 African fashion blogs and  Bloggers to follow in 2020

African fashion is booming, and so is its web presence. Ever-expanding numbers of websites, blogs, e-tailers, Tumblrs and online magazines dedicated to African-influenced style represent a field of fashion that is as fast evolving as the social and online media that shows it love.

A new generation of African and diaspora designers have gained attention in recent years, and African styles are a perennial trend on international catwalks too. With so much information to filter, here are 10 places to begin your African fashion odyssey.

  1. Jamila Kyari
    Jamila Kyari is an African fashion and lifestyle brand that inspires women to live a colourful, vibrant and bold life. It achieves this through the showcase of bright colours, vibrant prints and bold patterns in women’s apparel, home decor, stationery and gifts. Content includes style posts, product reviews and lifestyle tips tricks with an African twist.
    www.jamilakyari.com
  2. Fashion Breed
    A fashion blog from South Africa, regularly updated with photo-stories, everyday style, travel, events and articles. The site has witnessed her growth since its founding early in 2010, and documents the way Aqeelah has incorporated fashion in her many adventures.
    www.fashionbreed.co.za
  3. Brett Robson
    Fashion by Brett Robson was started in 2010 when Brett found herself unemployed. Fashion by Brett Robson has worked with many brands, been featured in multiple publications and continues to grow & enrich both existing & new brand relations.
    www.brettrobson.com
  4. Africa Fashion Guide
    Africa Fashion Guide is the brainchild of Jacqueline Shaw a professional fashion designer, a visionary and an eco-entrepreneur with a big heart for Africa, Fashion and International Development. Jacqueline concepted Africa Fashion Guide with the focus to promote the African fashion and textile industry to the greater global textile industry.
    www.africafashionguide.com
  5. Nairobi Fashion Hub
    This is all aimed at emphasizing to the region that fashion is an income generating creative industry, meanwhile promoting the ‘Made in Africa’ concept.
    www.nairobifashionhub.co.ke
  6. Arum Lilea
    Arum Lilea was born in 2011 with the intention of inspiring young women to live their best lives possible. Focusing on the personal style and elegance that everyone can add to their daily attire. Whether being in a corporate environment or casual university style, Arum Lilea aims to offer something to everyone and make stylish living attainable for each and every lady
    www.arumlilea.com
  7. Style Me Blog
    Style Me is a Durban based image consulting & personal stylist business designed to enhance your best features & disguise the ones you are less proud of. Daniyel Berry, is a qualified Fashion Designer who has channeled her passion into building self-confidence in her clients through Image Consulting.
    www.styleme.co.za/styleblog/
  8. King Sidney
    Discover Afica’s finest wearable art in the form of these unparalleled dinner jackets, designer tuxedos & statement blazers for men in Nairobi and Kenya.
    www.kingsidney.co.ke
  9. My Life in Pink
    My Life in Pink is a fashion and lifestyle blog by Emma Jane Menteath. Her blog’s design boasts a chic and minimal aesthetic, reflecting her classic and pared-back approach to dressing.
    www.mylifeinpink.co.za
  10. Baked Online
    Baked Online a publishing platform highlighting beauty and fashion trends in South Africa and the world. Founded in 2009 by Aisha Baker – Parnell, Baked The Blog has grown with its creator to become an award winning blog
    www.bakedonline.co.za
  11. Heritage1960
    Heritage1960 offers both an editorial view of global African style and an e-commerce arm selling a mix of African-produced and inspired brands, including artisanal gems scouted from across the continent by apparel industry maven Enyinne Owunwanne. Pick up pieces from Jewel by Lisa, The Summit and Jamhuri Wear.
    www.heritage1960.com
  12. Bella Naija
    Bella Naija, aka Uche Eze, began her blog in 2006 and it has grown to be one of the biggest fashion, entertainment and lifestyle websites in Africa. From Nollywood gossip to red carpet glamour, and from shop openings to beauty advice, nothing escapes this Lagosian’s all seeing eye.
    www.bellanaija.com
  13. Africa Fashion Guide
    Jacqueline Shaw’s website is pegged as a “social enterprise promoting sustainability within Africa’s fashion and textile industry”. The London-based consultant’s interest is in promoting ethical and eco-friendly methods of fashion production, as her book Fashion Africa also expounds.
    www.africafashionguide.com
  14. Aces Date
    Look at cute, young people wearing acid wash jeans and heart shaped shades. Read DIY guides to making leather shorts or wax print tote. And marvel at fashion shoots on water slides. It’s all on 4 Aces Date, a wizzy little website by Abby, Cookie, Kaven and Ozzie – four self-confessed fashionistas based, variously, in Lagos, New York and Washington DC. Who runs the world? Girls!
    www.the4acesdate.com/
  15. One Nigerian Boy
    Street style from One Nigerian Boy Photograph: Terence Sambo/onenigerianboy.com Terence Sambo trumpets African fashion, design and arts on his site, which began as a blog but is now all grown up. Previously based in Lagos, he’s currently studying in London and is a keen street style photographer too, often taking photos of his own attire, which is no mean feat when you think about it.
    www.onenigerianboy.com
  16. Marian Kihogo
    Stylist and creative consultant Marian Kihogo is one of the best dressed – and tallest – figures to be seen prowling around London Fashion Week and beyond. Her weblog went live in 2009 and covers fashion, beauty, catwalk shows and trends. She hosts a damn good party, too.
    www.mariankihogo.com/
  17. I See A Different You
    Three dapper dans from Soweto, Justice Mukheli, Innocent Mukheli and Vuyo Mpantsha, fill their Tumblr with arty images of themselves as they travel around Africa, usually wearing bow ties and braces, fraternity sweaters and slacks. It’s a hard job etc etc.
    iseeadifferentyou.tumblr.com/
  18. Fashion Notebook
    Nairobi-based blogger Nanci Mwai is as interested in promoting Kenya’s fledgling fashion scene as she is in global seasonal trends and celebrity style. Hot off the press: how to do a natural hair puff.
    www.nanciemwai.com
  19. Africa Style Daily
    Huffington Post columnist Zandile Blay is the brains behind this popular site that puts African fashion within a diaspora dialogue about art, music, politics and culture. She also makes time to hail Africa’s contemporary icons such as former UN secretary general Kofi Annan and Tanzanian model and campaigner Flaviana Matata.
    www.africastyledaily.com/
  20. Arise Live
    Arise Live is the virtual arm of Arise magazine, the London-based global African style magazine. Showcasing the best of the bi-monthly title plus films and reports from Arise Magazine Fashion Week, and blogs, catwalk reports, news and snappy interviews, it’s really rather good. Oh, and I edit the magazine. Did I mention that?
    www.ariselive.com

Content courtesy of Feedspot & Nairobi fashion hub

Bettinah Tianah

The face of everything young, fresh and modern in Uganda. I started out in the Ugandan entertainment at the age of 15 as the host of “Youth Voice” followed by popular television shows “Be My Date” and “About Town”, I also became a respected actor after landing the lead role as Rhona in the Hostel serenity season 4 that aired on  Uganda’s NTV.

I’ve also been a spokesperson for many campaigns here in Uganda and regularly featured on the best dressed lists. All this while completing a degree in Public Relations and media management at CUU

Currently a panelist on the Ntv Style Project a show that aims at edutaining about current trends beauty and fashion which airs every Friday at 7:35pm. In 2017, I emerged as a winner for the best dressed female media personality Uganda in the Abryanz Style and Fashion Awards also landed multiple nominations in the Starqt  and  Hipipo Awards.

Bettinah Tianah born Betty Nassali, 10 November 1993 is an Ugandan television personality, actress, model, and fashionista. She is known for hosting television programs like Youth Voice, Be My Date, and The Style Project. She also played a lead role (Rhona) in The Hostel television series.

At the age of 15, Tianah started working at NBS Television as the host of Youth Voice. She later hosted a matchmaking television show called Be My Date in 2015, replacing Anita Fabiola, and has hosted a fashion show called The Style Project since 2017. Tianah landed her first acting role as Rhona, a “bad girl” on the Ugandan television series The Hostelin its fourth and last season.

Tianah hosted the red carpet event at the UNAA Convention in Washington D.C., becoming the first Ugandan to host the event. She is also a model, having signed with Creative Industries Group in 2017. She held her first photoshoot in Paris.

Tianah holds a degree in Journalism from Cavendish University. She had earlier enrolled for a degree in Human Resources Management at Makerere University Business School (MUBS), but dropped out to pursue a journalism career.

Content courtesy Of Bettinah Tianah & Nairobi Fashion Hub 

 

 

Fashion High Tea 2019

On Saturday 16th February, Nairobi’s biggest fashion event, The Fashion High Tea 2019 went down at the lush Zen Garden Restaurant.

This was the 9th edition of the popular luxe event that’s known to host the upwardly mobile class of Nairobians encompassing media personalities, fashionpreneurs, fashion enthusiasts, models, celebrities and even dignitaries.

The event prides itself on being one of the few local events that combine fashion and charity, by collaborating with philanthropist, Caroline Mutoko to support a charitable cause every year. Proceeds this year will go towards THE NEST A centre established in 1997 for the rescue, rehabilitation and re-integration of children in conflict with the law and children of imprisoned mothers.

The event promises an afternoon of free-flowing drinks, food and biting, an impressive runway where models showcase designs by select local designers, pop up stores where you can shop for fashionable items, great music and ambiance. As expected, the organizers of the event did not disappoint as everything was up to par, not to mention, the weather was brilliant.

Attendees of the event brought their best fashion A game forward, interpreting the ‘high tea’ theme the best way they know how and some even adding an unexpected dimension to the somewhat complicated dress-code that many don’t seem to get right. Normally, the high tea theme is characterized by opulence.

Women are expected to wear respectable yet elegant clothing. No cut out figure hugging dresses, but more like flared hem dresses whose length is decent enough – tea length. The contemporary high tea theme is slowly changing and becoming accepting of pants, flashy colors and even outfits that are elegant, but don’t necessarily fall under the ‘high tea’ dress code. That being said, here’s what Nairobians wore to the event.

Content Courtesy of Pusle live Photo Credit 99thsense  

Kahindo Mateene Fashion Designer from Congo

KAHINDO is a contemporary women’s wear brand creating vibrant statement pieces with a resort feel. The colorful pieces bought originally for a vacation will quickly turn into closet staples.

The brand was founded by Kahindo Mateene in 2009 and features feminine and sexy design alongside bold colors and unique prints inspired by the designer’s African heritage, globe-trotting adventures and surroundings in New York.

A graduate of the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago, Mateene was selected to take part in Macy’s Chicago Fashion Incubator program and was also one of the contestants in season 12 of Project Runway.

Mateene is a passionate believer in the importance of empowering women and champions this cause through philanthropic endeavors in her native Congo and stateside.

KAHINDO is an independent women’s ready-to-wear design label based in New York city. Founded in 2009 under the name Modahnik, the brand was born of founder Kahindo Mateene’s desire to create a line that infuses the nostalgia and modernity of the two cultures of her upbringing, American and Congolese.

KAHINDO pairs mid-century Americana silhouettes with traditional Congolese textiles and fabrics creating garments that empower women in all of their femininity. KAHINDO believes that when you empower women, you empower a whole society, and champions this cause with a philanthropic partnership with MamAfrica, KAHINDO and MamAfrica repurpose the brand’s fabric scraps into handbags 100% made in the DRC by Congolese women.

Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kahindo Mateene is an alum of the Illinois Institute of Art. Mateene draws inspiration from Congolese art and culture of her childhood as well as the culture of her adopted country of the United States and extensive travels throughout Europe, the Americas and Africa. Upon completion of Chicago’s Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Residence Program in 2011, Kahindo Mateene landed a spot as a contestant on Season 12 of Lifetime Network’s Emmy-Nominated Project Runway television show.

From her constant philanthropic endeavors to partnership with MamAfrica through KAHINDO, Mateene has always seen fashion as a vehicle for conveying cultural perspective and betterment of a society.

Her collection marks the rebirth of my brand, under its new name, KAHINDO. The essence is maintained – bold colors and prints, sexy and sophisticated, and the attention to detail remains a priority. You will see my Congolese heritage shine through, with more emphasis on texture.

The color palette was inspired by conceptual artist Lina Iris Victor, whose work, specifically her painting, “Syzygy”, creates synergy between blue, black, white and 24-carat gold. I now present, KAHINDO, statement pieces for the progressive woman.

Content Courtesy Of Kahindo & Nairobi Fashion Hub

Meet East African brand Cocolili and learn more about their scholarship fund for Girls 

Coocolili is a ready to wear East African retail brand offering high quality tailored clothing and accessories for women, men and children. The brand is based in Nairobi, Kenya and was officially launched in November 2016.

Cocolili is a brand that is African at heart but has been designed to fit perfectly on any high street boutique in the world. Cocolili seeks to narrate the African story through its bold, vibrant and colorful prints which are individually customized for the brand. The prints are based on African themes and motifs and are symbolic of our African heritage and add an element of ethnic pride.

Our design philosophy focuses on classic and timeless staples that transcend time and culture and that allow for maximum adaptability and flexibility.

We offer styles in a variety of prints and colors ranging from subtle delicate reflections to vivacious spirited pallets,Cocolili prides itself as a truly East African brand, with each item of clothing conceptualized, designed, and manufactured in the region.

As a female led business, Cocolili prides itself as a brand that promotes the progress of women in our society. We identify ways to make women more visible and campaign for more inclusivity at school, work and in society.

The scholarship fund will sponsor under privileged school girls in secondary school pursuing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects. Ten percent of our annual net sales will go towards the fund. Our goal is to empower these young girls to succeed and hopefully become the next women leaders of Africa and the world.

 

Content Courtesy of Cocolili Africa & Nairobi Fashion Hub

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