Kenyan rapper Hubert Nakitare better known as Nonini has launched a footwear line under his Mgenge2RU in the US. The artiste confirmed the info through his social media platforms. The shoe edition was created by Italian master-crafts, AliveShoes, who have many of their shoe editions appearing in international magazines like Vogue.
According to Nonini, he has invested over Ksh 2million in the shoe line and hopes the merchandise gets global recognition. “The shoes going for Ksh24, 000 are real international quality wear. They have been produced and endorsed by one of the best Italian shoe companies,” said the rapper.
His latest design is a unique and limited edition shoe wear in which he has collaborated with Italian master-crafts AliveShoes, through its founder and CEO, Luca Botticelli, AliveShoes, certified Nonini’s designer shoes for distribution and sale to the public this week.
The announcement comes days after Nonini and his team met the Floyd Mayweather African team in Las Vegas to discuss collaborative ideas they can work on touching on the apparel business.
“The US is a lucrative market because as you know, their economy is thriving and that is why my products are doing well here,” he expounded on his choice of launching in the US. Besides seeking performance opportunities, the rapper relocated to the United States of America four months ago, where he has been consulting on how to expand and monetize his ‘Mgenge2Ru’ brand.
“I am still working on my music with two major collaborations; one with Redsan and the other with Tanzanian rapper Chege, coming out soon. But I have discovered that all creatives in the world including US rapper Kanye West are trying to make it through brands.
“Fashion can take you places including those international fashion platforms like the New York Fashion week and so I have my eyes on the prize. This is where all my focus is now,” the celebrated hip-hop star who was part of the Kenyan hip-hop revolution in the 2000s said.
Popular for his big songs such as ‘Furahiday’, ‘Mtoto Mzuri’, ‘Keroro’ and ‘Nimetoka Mbali’, Nonini started working on his fashion design Mgenge2Ru when he was still at Calif Records.
He recalls how he would visit Gikomba market to buy clothes that he would then brand and sell to his fans. This is how the popular Calif Records T-shirts came up.
“It is only that Mgenge2Ru apparel is exploding now otherwise what people are seeing now is a result of constant work dating back many years. The time I have put in this cannot be measured.
“In the last two years, I have put in about Sh2 million into the work and that tells you that since I have no partner this is a real investment that has gone into it. I am trying to create merchandise that is self-sustainable and one that earns itself a good international identity. This is a game-changer,” he said.
Nonini’s music career is also thriving.
“Last Saturday I performed in Oakland in California among other shows and it is during my interactions with fans that I am learning what they want in terms of fashion,” Nonini said.
Nonini is not the only Kenyan making it big in the US when it comes to fashion designs.
Zedekiah Lukoye, aka Zeddie Loky, the founder and CEO of California-based Blkkburd Genes has been making waves in the US with his designs showcasing Kenya’s exquisite features, recently, he hit international headlines after rapper Jay-Z was spotted wearing his designer T-shirt showing Lamu’s Riyadh Mosque.
Each pair of kicks comes with collector edition packaging, You can buy your own pair here.
Content courtesy of Mgenge 2ru Brand & Nairobi fashion hub