Friday 24th of March 2023

Nairobi, Kenya

Fashion Designer Kithe Brewster’s Catwalks Remove Cultural Roadblocks

Kithe Brewster is an American stylist and fashion designer and founder of the Kithe Brewster brand and company. Leaving for Paris at age nineteen proved to be the right cut for him, as he immediately grasped the French scene, becoming a hot stylish on the move.

After seven years in Paris, he moved to London, where music styling became his forte. While in London, he worked for magazines such as Elle, Scene, Vanity Fair, Interview, Flaunt, Chic (Dutch), French and American Jalouse, and Surface, among others.

His work for these publications gained attention from the crème de la crème of fashion, as well as the European and Hollywood celebrity elite. He has styled covers for Flaunt magazine with stars such as Adrien Brody, Cate Blanchett, Drew Barrymore, Selma Hayek, Winona Ryder, and many others.

His personal clients have included Halle Berry, Julianne Moore, Iman, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Usher, and Heidi Klum. He has spent a great deal of time in the Middle East, in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and the UAE. He was Creative Director of DIFW, the original Fashion Week. “I predicted on record,” he says, “that Dubai would become a major fashion capital.”

Currently, in Dubai, Brewster spoke to Gulf Today

Why did you choose the fashion industry as your place of work?

I would like to think my early exposure to the arts in all aspects was definitely a deciding factor. From a very young age, I was extremely conscious of clothing and its many textures. At five or six, I truly understood the definition of beauty.

Looking back, I adored rummaging through my mother’s closets and just appreciating the quality; I was quick to notice when something missed this quality.

It was truly organic in this sense, thus I believe I was chosen. As a man of faith, there are no coincidences. I believe it is the Creator’s plan – the journey and the results.

What are the African-American sensitivities you bring to fashion?

Being African and American contributes a great deal to my creative DNA. I am balanced in rich history and tradition. As a designer, my gift is my hands, draping and manipulating fabric to create one-of-a-kind designs. This is rich African tradition the sense of color and dynamic.

There is a European side of my makeup, which leads me to seek out Europe to discover this sense of style. I was a huge success as a stylist, fashion editor, and celebrity stylist, because of the balance of multiple culture comprehension. In fact, it’s the understanding of all global cultures combined, that is needed to truly be a voice in fashion.

Is fashion only for celebrities or can it be shared by others?

Fashion is, in my belief, for everyone. I definitely think we all want and need the confidence of looking and then feeling good. I spend a lot of time observing the influences in modern society. I’m certain it trickles down, in some capacity, to reach everyone.

Is Faith a constraint on fashion?

I believe Faith is in no way a restraining measure in fashion. For example, my time in the UAE and other Arab countries, helped me to see the progression of High Fashion and Modesty. When I was Creative Director of Dubai Fashion Week, I helped to discover the amazing talent of Rabia Z.

I had the huge pleasure to nurture her and pushing her vision of modesty and the Muslim woman. At that time, twelve years ago, we made history with her first show in Dubai. I get goosebumps when I think back and hear the live drums and the first entrance of the first model.

We proved successfully that within modesty, one can be fashion-forward and completely true to one’s faith, respecting the modesty it is built upon. I cried like a baby that night when she received a true standing ovation. We had managed to inspire Muslim women. It was a historic moment and I have watched a global progression in High Fashion inspired by the modesty of Muslim women. Let’s not forget my first ever collection was inspired by Emirati women.

Is there a distinction between ex-pat fashion and Emirati fashion? If so, what are their defining features?

There is a difference between ex-pat fashion and Emirati fashion. There is a merging of sophistication and class in Emirati fashion. Expat fashion tends to hinge upon trends from Europe, yet slightly behind. As an ex-pat, I say this in an opinion-based manner. What’s beautiful is when all of the incredible high fashion intertwines with traditional and modest apparel.

Why did you think Dubai could be a fashion center of the world?

I felt twelve years ago that Dubai would become a fashion capital because I saw the vision of Sheikh Mohammed and the impact of the year that I spent coming back and forwards from New York. The buildings were going up all around me. I saw it happening.

I felt the hunger for this country’s own place within fashion makeup. I pushed so hard to catch them up to the rest of the world. On a funny note, I got rid of the raised runways and had the models walk on the floor. It caused a huge uproar: it was in the papers. But when the rest of the world saw the shows that came out of Dubai, they were blown away. I convinced American Elle magazine to cover Fashion Week. It was a huge step that was aligned with Sheikh Mohammed’s vision.

How will you define your style?

Maison Kithe Brewster will define its style by being discerning and not by overcapitalizing or overexposing the brand. By always being consistent in style. By not selling the same thing to hundreds of clients.  By quality and personal attention to every client. By never running out of ideas, and creating original excellence.

Content courtesy of Gulf Today & Nairobi fashion hub 

A Slay Queens’ Guide To Starting Over

It is the only way to live life and, makes it harder for enemies to predict your moves because you remain in motion. 


People love saying that you should not burn bridges because you might have to cross them later. Well, they lied. A slay queen will always have time to build new bridges no matter how many houses get scorched as she ascends into power. No-one is born to be as fabulous as you. So stay like an ever-burning flame. 

So it is a new year and, it’s time to get rid of what no longer works, clothes, friends and family members. It’s time to usher in 2021 like you mean business and claim it all for yourself. However, you can’t quit your job because HR asked you to tone down your fashion sense. They just don’t understand that Rihanna is your ultimate fashion muse. I mean flawless makeup isn’t cheap. Also, who wants to move out of Kitisuru mid-month? It’s hurting my pores just thinking about it.


So with starting over. Start with your fashion sense. Every year, some items go out of fashion. So they need to be destroyed because you can never afford to be a fashion victim. Burn them, throw them or donate them. However, always remember that some pieces are classics and will always work. If you’re having an issue separating the wheat from the chaff. You can always hire a personal fashion stylist but make them sign a non-disclosure agreement. Nobody needs to know that you’re secretly a B yet you floss that you’re a full C-cup in all your IG posts.


Speaking of IG, detox all your social media handles. If it doesn’t make sense anymore then either archive it or delete. Never forget that people are itching to cancel things and being in a cancel hashtag is never a good thing especially if you’re still on the market.


Realise that some friendships outgrow each other and others, just die with time. It is only natural. So review your friendships, one by one as you vet out, who still falls in the slayers’ code of ethics. Never toss out the frenemies though because you never know when you might to have to step on one to get a fancy invite to a social event.


If your partner is finding it hard to keep up with the times. It might be time to cut them loose and start all over again. You might end up dating way too many frogs, but your wardrobe will love the upgrade. Besides. you can never have too many handbags, stilettos or jewellery.


However, sometimes, things do not always go well. 


With family, it might be trickier to toss them aside since they are your flesh and blood. Lol. I’m just joking. Start over with whomever you want because you only have one life. Feel free to delete, subtract or multiply depending on your mood. Plus, when, it’s time for you to go six feet under, you’ll make the journey alone. So you can only trust yourself.


Forget people that tell you that starting over is the hardest part. They don’t understand that before beautiful butterflies emerge from the cocoon they begin as caterpillars. So your life is always in a state of change and no-one has earned a permanent spot.


%d bloggers like this: