Monday 4th of December 2023

Nairobi, Kenya

Kenyan Fashion: The Independent Zine Honoring Kenyan Designers’ Pulsating Energy

Genuineness does not always entail being responsible or eco-minded, Contrary to popular belief, WAUZINE004, a dynamic digital platform that champions the nexus of fashion, culture, and identity, is on a mission to disprove this.
The pulsating energy of African (note, Kenyan) designers has something significant about the current state of consumer taste, namely the influence of innovative offerings and off-beat aestheticism that brings forth proposals with an avant-garde, distinctive, and vibrant edge.
These designers delve deeply into the fascinating narratives of Kenya’s heritage while blending its relationship with the environments we live in.

The fourth issue of WAUZINE, with the Swahili title KUTOKA NAIROBI (from Nairobi), portrays Nairobi as a city known for its dynamic soul, seamlessly fusing with its rich traditional heritage, transforming into a creative canvas for a plethora of stories that arouse nostalgia and a genuine sense of cultural belonging.

Strong, imposing design: a stunning celebration of both concentration and toil that goes beyond a printed shirt or a suntanned top. It not only represents voices that are both inventive and socially conscious, echoing the pulse of a promising fashion system, but it also perfectly combines tradition, sustainability, and the feverish quest for artistic flare on a worldwide scale.

The fourth edition of the zine, Office describes the work of three Kenyan designers.

Theresia Kyalo
Theresia Kyalo began her career as a lawyer before dipping her toes into the development of distinctive contemporary jewelry. She drew significant influence from antique African jewelry while introducing her aestheticism to the modern day through simple, geometric shapes. Hardy brass is the designer’s material of choice since she wants to keep her line accessible.
A shining moment for the designer came in 2020 when Beyoncé included him on her list of Black creatives. He worked in both digital art and movies.

Yvette Anyango
Designer of Alegohono Yvette Anyango says, “Being featured on the 4th issue of Wauzine has been such an eye-opener for the brand.
It has sparked the urgently required awareness, development, and interest in what African fashion has to offer.
The designer’s collection features a variety of outfits that can be incorporated into a daily wardrobe: neutrals are dominant, and the brand’s guiding principles and ultimate embodiment are drawn from architectural design and include native art and photography.
These straightforward guidelines serve as a design manual for creating clothing with practicality.

Mvoo Wanje
“The history of Kenya is a rich tapestry of customs and civilizations, with an intriguing fusion of African, Western, and Arabic influences. Kenyan culture defies easy categorization; rather, when it comes to artistic endeavors, we have a powerful voice that merits consideration.
Designer Mvoo Wanje of Bonkerz NRB, who established the company in 2011, grew up in the 1990s with little to no media from the continent.
He freely acknowledges the mix of allusions that permeate his clothing “I can say hip hop as a sound and culture heavily influence how I see and create.”

Inspired by the beauty of color and the childlike things in life, the designer cares to share a perspective of Africa that isn’t about the struggle; rather, he’s keen to bring forth energy that translates into utility-heavy pieces that veer towards the functional and the practical with a zingy spirit.

Content courtesy of  Fashion Scouts, Office Magazine & NFH

Exploring Kenyan Fashion Designer’s: Tradition, Innovation, and Sustainability

Kenya, a dynamic and culturally diverse country in East Africa, has made great advancements in the fashion industry. Kenyan fashion designers get inspiration from a variety of sources, ranging from traditional outfits that reflect centuries-old traditions to cutting-edge designs that epitomize innovation.
This article explores the numerous sources that shape the creativity, identity, and fashion-design philosophy of Kenyan fashion designers.

1. Traditional Heritage and Cultural Roots

One of the primary sources of inspiration for Kenyan fashion designers is the country’s rich cultural heritage. Traditional garments like the kikoi, kanga, and Maasai shuka have served as the basis for many contemporary designs. These designers reinterpret and modernize these traditional pieces, incorporating them into everyday wear and high-fashion collections. The Kenya Fashion Council (KFC) plays a pivotal role in preserving and promoting these cultural touchpoints, acting as a bridge between tradition and modernity in the fashion industry.

2. Sustainability and Ethical Practices

In recent years, there has been a growing emphasis on sustainability and ethical practices in the global fashion industry. Kenyan designers have been quick to adopt these principles, incorporating eco-friendly materials, fair labor practices, and ethical production methods. The Ethical Fashion Initiative works closely with Kenyan artisans and designers to create products that are not only stylish but also socially responsible.

3. Empowerment and Social Change

Fashion Revolution’s presence in Kenya has further fueled the movement for ethical fashion. Through campaigns, events, and collaborations, the organization encourages transparency, fair wages, and sustainable practices in the fashion supply chain. Kenyan designers are increasingly conscious of the social impact of their work, striving to create opportunities for local artisans and communities.

4. Genderless Fashion and Identity

The concept of genderless fashion has gained significant traction worldwide, challenging traditional notions of clothing and identity. Kenyan designers, as seen in The Guardian’s article, are embracing this trend, creating gender-inclusive designs that celebrate individuality. This shift not only redefines fashion but also mirrors Kenya’s progressive stance on social issues.

5. Luxury and High-End Fashion

The Kenyan fashion scene is not limited to traditional and sustainable designs alone; luxury fashion also plays a significant role. The top 10 Kenyan luxury fashion brands highlighted in Nairobi Fashion Hub’s article showcase the country’s ability to create high-end, couture-level pieces that rival international fashion houses. This emphasis on luxury not only contributes to Kenya’s economic growth but also establishes its presence in the global fashion arena.

6. Fusion of Modern and Traditional

The fusion of modern aesthetics with traditional elements is a hallmark of Kenyan fashion. Designers often incorporate traditional fabrics, prints, and techniques into contemporary silhouettes, creating a unique blend of the old and the new. This fusion is evident in the designs showcased at the Kenya Fashion Awards, where innovation and tradition collide.

7. Financial and Corporate World Influences

Kenyan fashion designers are not only influenced by cultural and artistic factors but also by the financial and corporate world. As highlighted in Business Daily Africa’s article, designers are creating fashion lines tailored for financiers, recognizing the importance of attire that reflects professionalism and success.

8. Recognition and Inspiration from the Past

The history of Kenyan fashion has paved the way for contemporary designers to draw inspiration from their predecessors. As noted in the BBC article, designs from the 1970s and 1980s continue to influence modern fashion, emphasizing the cyclical nature of trends and the enduring impact of iconic designs.


The world of Kenyan fashion design is a tapestry woven with threads from tradition, innovation, sustainability, empowerment, and global influences. From traditional garments and ethical practices to genderless designs and luxury fashion, Kenyan designers draw inspiration from diverse sources that reflect their country’s rich cultural heritage and its evolving identity. As the industry continues to evolve, Kenyan designers are poised to make their mark on the global stage, creating a lasting impact that celebrates both their roots and their aspirations.

Content courtesy of NFH 

Ikojn Announces a Partnership With Ncba Bank, Introduces the Ikojnic Club, and Unveils a Cover Feature in Couture Africa Magazine.

The IKOJNIC CLUB, the brand’s exclusive loyalty club, was launched on Sunday, May 7, 2023, at a cocktail party and magnificent pop-up at The Social House in Nairobi.
Celebrities and fashion enthusiasts, like Pinky Ghelani, Joy Kendi, Sonal Maherali, and Victor Peace, attended the event.

Customers who use THE IKOJNIC CLUB receive free benefits for doing business with IKOJN. Every transaction a member makes results in points that may be exchanged for savings, free shipping, and other benefits.
The initiative aims to increase customer value and foster a sense of community among IKOJN supporters.

IKOJN announced a relationship with NCBA Bank in addition to the creation of THE IKOJNIC CLUB.
Customers of IKOJN will receive a 15% discount on all NCBA Card purchases as a result of the cooperation. This alliance demonstrates IKOJN’s dedication to giving its customers the greatest shopping experience possible.

“IKOJN is a womenswear brand that is 100% made in Kenya and it has a focus on sustainability. We love our customers at IKOJN we have been serving our customers for 8 years now. Our growth has been because of our customers and I thought we need to find a way to reward the IKOJN consumer who keeps coming back. They’re loyal to us and we need to give them something exciting in return,” said IKOJN’s founder, Cris Njoki.

Finally, IKOJN unveiled its cover story and fashion spread in Couture Africa magazine. The article is a significant accomplishment for the company and a reflection of its expanding reputation in the East African fashion sector.

IKOJN founder and CEO Janet Mbugua expressed her excitement about the introduction of THE IKOJNIC CLUB and her company’s collaboration with NCBA Bank.
“These alliances are proof of our dedication to giving our customers the finest purchasing experience possible. We are also delighted to be highlighted in Couture Africa.

This is a significant accomplishment for our company and a reflection of the dedication of our team.

Since its launch in 2015, IKOJN has become increasingly well-known. In addition to its bustling online store, www.ikojn.com, the ready-to-wear business has three more store locations in Nairobi Westgate Mall, Imaara Mall, and Greenhouse Mall. It is the height of femininity, with clothes that range from colorful dresses to chic co-ord shirts and bottoms. Given their superb construction, use of eco-friendly fabrics, and constantly flawless tailoring, it is easy to see why the brand has had such significant market growth since its inception and especially over the past few years.

“The IKOJNIC woman has a strong sense of self. She desires to have style. She wants to use her clothes as a means of self-expression, but she doesn’t want to stand out too much.

She wants to look classy with a bit of playfulness,” added Cris Njoki

Pinky Ghelani, Joy Kendi, Sonal Maherali, Brian Babu, and Victor Peace, to name a few renowned fashionistas, were among those present at the event held at The Social House in Nairobi, which was a big success.
IKOJN’s devoted clients had the opportunity to speak with Cris and her staff during the event while learning more about the company.
Visitors began to arrive around 3 pm and began to drink some Tusker Cider and Gordon’s Cocktails compliments of EABL as they went about their Sunday socializing and shopping.

IKOJN has established itself as a strong player in the Kenyan fashion sector, and we can’t wait to watch where they go from here.

Content courtesy of Couture Africa, Ikojn, NFH

Ikojn Kenyan Fashion Designer: Fashionistas Congregate at the Social House for an Event With Ikojn and Couture Africa

The Kenyan Fashion Brands Redefining Style And Glamour, Ikojn, and Couture Africa, two additional fashion and lifestyle brands, gathered together Kenyan fashion enthusiasts and supporters on Sunday, May 7th, 2023, at The Social House. EABL, who provided some cocktail service and had some chic bars, also sponsored the event and contributed to its gloss and glam.

We also got to witness a blown-up replica of the impending “comeback” print issue of Couture Africa Magazine. Ikojn, who are now selling at the hotel, had their creations on show.

We’ve taken a long break from publishing during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic, so we’re happy to be back. I think there’s still a place for print in the East African market, especially for specialized magazines, and this collaboration with IKOJN is a great opportunity to reenter the market. Founder and Chief Editor Olive Gachara made a point.
The Social House will still host the pop-up, which will stock limited-edition selections that are exclusively available there.

IKOJN, which was founded in 2015, is the perfect embodiment of seductive femininity and ladylike strength. The company’s mission is to build the continent and its fashion sector while teaching the world about cultural tales via design in the form of flawless tailoring and excellent construction.

Fashion and beauty entrepreneurs, celebrities, members of the media, content creators, and influencers from all walks of life mingled while they snacked, drank, and shopped in the Social House garden and the nearby event space, which had been converted to be worthy of the fashion content.

The chance to interact with the businesses, learn more about their vision and mission, and keep up with their most recent developments was fantastic for the guests.

The ninth issue of Couture Africa Magazine, which is currently distributed throughout East Africa, will be available in June both in print and online through the Issuu Digital Magazine Newsstand. The platform also manages the website: mycouture.africa, which hosts online content, and they just created the YouTube channel COUTURE Africa TV.

In addition, the group organizes fashion shows including the Couture Style Awards.

Content courtesy of Couture Africa, Ikojn & NFH

Unveiling the Unique Elegance: A Glimpse into the World of Kenyan Fashion

The essence and uniqueness of a country are reflected in fashion, which acts as a canvas for cultural expression. Kenya, a nation rich in history, variety, and a thriving fashion sector that captures its distinct history and modern influences, is located in the heart of East Africa.
Kenyan fashion skillfully combines the old and the new, fusing traditional craftsmanship with contemporary interpretations to produce a tapestry of styles that continues to amaze the world.
This essay goes deeply into the alluring world of Kenyan fashion, examining its multifaceted cultural heritage, cutting-edge styles, and path to global acclaim.

Cultural Fusion: A Tapestry of Traditions

Kenyan fashion is an embodiment of the nation’s cultural diversity, celebrating over 40 ethnic groups, each with its distinct traditional attire and craftsmanship. The Maasai, known for their vibrant beadwork and bold patterns, contribute to Kenya’s fashion narrative with their iconic shukas (traditional blankets) and intricate jewelry. The Kikuyu, on the other hand, add their unique touch with brightly colored fabrics and finely detailed embroidery.

However, it’s the art of weaving and hand-dyeing fabrics by the Luo community that has gained international attention. The “Kanga,” a rectangular piece of cloth adorned with intricate designs and Swahili proverbs, stands as a symbol of unity and cultural pride, transcending regional boundaries.

Innovative Design: Where Tradition Meets Modernity

The Kenyan fashion scene is not confined to the echoes of the past; it thrives on innovation and modern interpretations. Emerging designers are adept at infusing traditional elements with contemporary aesthetics, creating clothing that resonates with both local and global audiences. These designers experiment with fabrics, colors, and silhouettes, often finding inspiration in nature, wildlife, and urban landscapes.

Brands like “Nairobi Apparel District” and “KikoRomeo” have mastered the art of fusing traditional fabrics with modern designs, capturing the essence of Kenya’s multifaceted identity. The incorporation of sustainable practices, such as ethical sourcing and eco-friendly materials, further propels Kenyan fashion onto the international stage, resonating with the growing global demand for conscious clothing.

Global Recognition: From Local Markets to International Catwalks

Kenyan fashion’s journey from local markets to international catwalks is a testament to its growing influence. Nairobi, the capital city, has become a hub for fashion events, with platforms like the Nairobi Fashion Week showcasing the diversity and talent of Kenyan designers. Additionally, fashion enthusiasts and influencers from around the world are drawn to Kenya’s unique designs, often incorporating them into their own wardrobes.

International designers and brands are taking note of Kenya’s fashion scene, collaborating with local artisans to infuse their collections with an authentic touch. The incorporation of traditional Kenyan fabrics and craftsmanship into global fashion trends not only boosts Kenya’s economy but also fosters cross-cultural collaborations that celebrate diversity.

Empowering Communities: Fashion as a Catalyst for Change

Beyond aesthetics, Kenyan fashion serves as a catalyst for social change and economic empowerment. Many fashion initiatives prioritize sustainability and fair trade practices, providing employment opportunities for local artisans, especially women. By preserving traditional crafts and investing in skill development, these initiatives uplift communities and empower individuals, allowing them to showcase their talents on a global stage.


Kenyan fashion is more than just fabric and design; it’s a dynamic reflection of the nation’s history, diversity, and aspirations. From the intricate beadwork of the Maasai to the modern interpretations of emerging designers, Kenya’s fashion scene is a captivating blend of tradition and innovation. As the world continues to embrace the beauty of cultural diversity, Kenyan fashion stands poised to make an indelible mark, showcasing the nation’s rich tapestry of stories and talents on the global stage.

Content courtesy of NFH Digital Team

Kenyan Genge Musician Nonini Launches Footwear Line In US, Shoe Designed in Italy

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.

Mgenge 2Ru Kicks 
Mgenge2ru Jeshi Ed
Mgenge2RU Ladies 
Mgenge2ru Kids 
Mgenge2ru Kids 

Content courtesy of Mgenge 2ru Brand & Nairobi fashion hub 

Kenyan Designers and Film Looku Debut at London Fashion Week Virtual Premiere

A film called Looku celebrating the work of 11 emerging Kenyan brands and designers, including Favoloso By Nanu, Genteel, Nisisi Factory, Sevaria, Enda and We Are NBO, premiered virtually on Saturday 20 February.

Brought about by the British Council’s Creative DNA programme and emerging creative consultancy Fashion Scout, Looku was co-directed by Sunny Dolat and Noel Kasyoka, who sought to recreate the creative vibrancy of Nairobi’s street style scene.

“Whenever we see images of Kenya and Nairobi, often, it’s the landscapes and wildlife that are often prioritised, over the incredible and dynamic people who live there,” said Dolat, a stylist, creative director and co-founder of The Nest Collective in the Kenyan capital who leads the creative direction of Creative DNA x Fashion Scout digital publication Wauzine. “Looku and Wauzine are a celebration of Nairobi, Nairobisms and Nairobians in their glory and flair, a love letter from us to us.”

The screening of Looku was accompanied by three panel talks on timely topics like fostering creativity during crisis, reimagining fashion’s capital cities (moderated by Helen Jennings, Wauzine features editor and co-founder of Nataal Media), and the value of more conscious design practices.

Fashion Scout 

Fashion Scout is a leading international consultancy and platform for nurturing, empowering and showcasing the future of fashion. Fashion Scout’s showcase events in London, Paris, Kyiv and other fashion weeks have presented a whole generation of designers to international media, buyers and influencers.

With 20 years of experience in the industry, our consultancy creates and delivers bespoke mentoring and development programmes for designers and organisations around the world  enabling designers to adapt and build sustainable businesses in these challenging times – and providing them with the opportunity to showcase their work to the international market.

Mettā Nairobi

Metta is Nest Groups’ physical and digital entrepreneurs’ network, where they bring together founders, entrepreneurs, policymakers, academics and investors
to collaborate. Nest Group is committed to creating collaborative environments that help corporates, start-ups, and our investors scale and succeed.


HEVA Fund is an East African fund that invests in the transformative social and economic potential of the creative economy sector in the East African region.

Since 2013, HEVA Fund has generated insights, rolled out investments, and innovated financial models specifically for the growth of the creative economy in east Africa.

HEVA Fund have invested in more than 40 creative businesses and directly supported over 8,000 creative practitioners in the fashion, digital content and television, live music and gaming value-chains. From Nairobi, Kampala, Kigali, Arusha, Lamu to Dar es salaam, the creative sector is where the creation of new products and new cultural experiences is happening.

They want to be at the forefront of helping producers of cultural goods and services to build high-value, profitable businesses where new ideas will come to life, and where the highest potential for great profits, great jobs, and happy people will be found.

Content courtesy of  Fashion Scout, Mettā Nairobi, HEVA Fund & Nairobi fashion hub 


Made in Kenya: Exclusive interview with Cynthia Kimathi Founder, Creative Director at The Seamstress and African le’kiondo

Cynthia is a mother and a fashion enthusiast; who doubles up as a self-taught fashion designer, I have loved fashion and style for as far back as I can remember.

I used to accompany my mother to clothes stores every Christmas holiday to choose outfits for my siblings and me, however, I must admit that my Art and Design teacher in State House Girls High School gave me the extra push needed, from whence I learned all the basics myself.
My fashion line is The Seamstress. A seamstress is a woman who sews and one who earns her living from the craft. That is simply who I am.
I officially launched The Seamstress on November 28th, 2020 on the JW Runway Show, but we had been working on the brand and first collection for at least a year beforehand.

Oscar Alochi: Can you describe The Seamstress, the idea and concept as if I knew nothing about it or the market it is in?

Cynthia Kimathi: The Seamstress is purely a ladies-wear fashion line. During our launch, we started with the collection Dusk to Dawn, which is glam wear for evenings and events. But we are not all about evening gowns. We are a one-stop-shop for all women wear; ranging from casual, office, and streetwear, lingerie, mature looks, and older women, among others.

The brand concept is to release quarterly collections (mid-February, end June, end September, and mid-December) that will aim at introducing new designs and aspects into the fashion market. The collections are all pre-planned beforehand, with every design passing through a set of criticisms from The Seamstress team prior to the final vetting.

This is because the creative side of me sometimes needs to be controlled if we want to make functional outfits.

This February, our aim is to release our second collection just before Valentine’s.

OA: What were you doing before The Seamstress, and what motivated you to start the business?

CK: I have been running African le’kiondo, which is a subsidiary brand just like The Seamstress. The brand focuses on making authentic Africanised bags that are environmentally friendly as we source raw materials and labor locally.

Not only that, but it has been a great instrument in empowering women in Meru County by providing them with an avenue to expand their creativity, put food on their table, and have a safe space to talk about their issues.

Just like African le’kiondo, I started The Seamstress out of mere frustration in finding an outfit for myself, a great motivator. During my participation in a national pageant in 2019, Mrs. Universe Kenya as the current 1st Runners Up, it took me weeks to get an evening gown I liked.

This was simply due to all the outfits looking the same, plus they did not look very functional in the sense that I kept wondering where else I would wear the outfit, and how I could style it to look different every time. This predicament gave birth to The Seamstress fashion line.


OA: What techniques do you use? Tell us about the process.

CK: At The Seamstress, we start with a designer’s consultation, This consultation includes detailed discussions with the client ranging from color choices to fabric choices.

The client then receives three (3) designs and chooses from them. The duration from consultation to delivery also depends on design and details. The sewing process differs and the details would seem quite boring for now.

But I also add a lot of accessories to my designs to give them a 3D effect, with such pieces ranging from flowers, beads, etc, which aids in having my outfits turn heads positively.

OA: How did you learn/master this technique and why do you use it?

CK: As previously mentioned, I received basic art and design training from my high school days. In addition to this, my team and I do a lot of research, and I spend the better part of my mornings learning online.

I use this technique as it keeps me on my toes on what is currently trending in the fashion space, what trends could be making their comeback, plus the added benefit of attaining inspiration.

OA: What challenges did you face?

CK: Being a designer, one has to pump in a lot of finances before reaping anything, therefore sometimes you can be financially constrained especially as a start-up and a new name in the fashion industry.

In the Kenyan market, as much as we are now beginning to accept Kenyan designers, we are not yet there. The market still prefers ‘ready-made’ outfits from boutiques for designer outfits. Therefore, oftentimes clientele does not understand the business model especially the need to pay a Designer’s Consultation Fee.

Growth is gradual and sometimes the audience is not as receptive as imagined, but we hope for better days and are positive on the same.

The biggest challenge has however been letting go of clients who wish us to replicate outfits they find online. It is a difficult task at times explaining that we do not replicate, we create.

OA: How did the obstacles make you feel?

CK: Frustrated at times, excited at others. It is bittersweet. The challenges however motivate me, helps me find new ways of approaching things, and elevates my thinking whilst tickling my creativity.

OA: What were your achievements?

CK: The JW Runway Show is the most recent highlight since the launch. In addition, I have dressed beauty pageant judges, taken part at the end of year party for WICCI (Women’s Indian Chamber Of Commerce and Industry – Kenya Business Council) as well as having the honor of dressing an artist for their upcoming music video to be released this February.

It has just been a month and a half and we feel positive about achieving even bigger this quarter.

OA: Favourite moments?

CK: The launch at the JW has to be the highlight so far. The runway took me back to my old modeling days and I was overwhelmed by how far I have come. Seeing my pieces on the runway and how receptive the audience was to them, blew my mind away.

In some way, I felt validated that I might be on to something really amazing.
An added advantage is that I get to travel more now, another passion of mine, as I do deliveries and have one-on-one discussions with clients.

OA: How do you get dressed in the morning?

CK:  I am a casual dresser. Half the time, you shall find me in jeans and a t-shirt. Whenever I have meetings and glam events though, that is when I put my mind into the dressing.

OA: What’s your take on the Kenya fashion industry?

CK: The Kenyan fashion industry is impressively growing fast.

We are seeing Kenyans being dressed by Kenyan designers for events, and the only way we grow is by supporting our own.

The pioneers have done a great job in growing the industry, but so have media personalities and bloggers like yourselves. You have given designers and fashionistas a platform to express themselves in terms of marketing to the world at large.

OA: How different is the Kenya fashion industry compared to East Africa and Africa’s fashion industry at large?

CK: Our rich culture already sets us apart. The Maasai shuka for example has been widely accepted and has found itself in some international design houses, and so has the kikoi.

OA: Any future collaboration with Kenyan or International fashion designers?

CK: Yes. I am hopeful on this front. Maybe Neomi Nganga will read this and we get to do something.

OA: If you were given the opportunity to work with a local or international fashion designer who will you love to work with?

CK: Locally, Neomi Nganga of Style By Neomi. She has revolutionized plus-size fashion, as I find her designs sexy and eye-catching.
Internationally, Zuhair Murad. He is a genius, so daring with his technique. He always delivers utterly unique and dramatic masterpieces.

OA: What are your thoughts on fashion in Africa?

CK: It is growing tremendously fast. Countries like Nigeria and South Africa are already making enough noise in the fashion industry home and away.

OA: What has changed during this period of Covid-19?

CK: Most fashion designers have started to focus more on online marketing strategies.

Personally, the pandemic has given me room to magnify my creativity and read more. Never did I think I would be designing masks for instance.

OA: How has The Seamstress adopted the new technology virtual fashion show during and after the Coronavirus pandemic?

CK: We will be doing Instagram and Facebook live for virtual shows whenever we release our new collections.

OA: How are African fashion designers influencing fashion in the western world?

CK: Most African designers like pomp and color, and lately we have seen more African prints on the red carpet, as the Western world is already recognizing our African designs.

This can even be seen in as diverse an environment such as Hollywood blockbuster films like Black Panther, where they consulted with African designers for the costume designs.

OA: What can the Kenyan fashion industry learn from the western world?

CK: Owning our products. The Western world has a lot of acceptance and loyalty towards its designers. We should borrow a leaf from that and grow our own African designers.
We can also aim at having more fashion weeks and shows to call for upcoming designers to showcase their outfits, as I believe we have so much talent to offer.

OA: Over the last few years have you noticed any significant changes with the African fashion trends?

CK: Yes, I have. There have been some significant developments. We are seeing more African designers, models, and outfits on magazines and social media platforms, which is a clear indication that the perception of African designs has shifted progressively.

OA: When dealing with Africa is it important for the fashion world to be ethical and socially responsible, and put in place strong corporate social responsibility governance?

CK: Yes. We can’t just take and not give back.
Sustainable fashion needs CSR. It helps build relationships with consumers and stakeholders, and it helps to show the market space precisely what the designers are doing and the positive effects their work has in Africa. Let us never forget that our consumers appreciate transparency.


OA: Tell us about The JW Show or Kenyan Fashion week and your experience at the Show.

CK: The JW show is an amazing platform for upcoming designers to showcase their outfits and for seasoned designers to release their collections. The panelist choice was also a wise one; we got to get first-hand information from fashion icons and legends in the industry.

They discussed different parameters in the fashion industry and gave solid advice on how to be fashion-forward and run a house as a business.

OA: Where can we find your designs?

CK: We are currently based online.

Facebook: The Seamstress.ke
Instagram: theseamstress.ke
Facebook: African Lekiondo
Instagram: african.lekiondo
Mobile number: 0101704786

Here you will find our recently released collection Dusk to Dawn and some outfits made for our clients.

OA: Share with the audience your social media platforms or a website

CK: Our Social platforms

Facebook: The Seamstress.ke
Instagram: @theseamstress.ke
Email: theseamstress.ke@gmail.com

OA: What does eCommerce mean to you and your business?

CK: eCommerce means everything! Our business is purely online based.
We are however currently developing our website, which will give us the extra push in the eCommerce world

OA: Do you think eCommerce is important for African fashion designers that are trying to get recognized and reach a global market?

CK: Of course, it is! Ecommerce has opened doors for many businesses locally and globally. It is safe to say that eCommerce is an essential tool in the fashion industry in this modern time.

OA: How does your strategy change when running an online store to an offline store?

CK: When using an Online-to-Offline (O2O) Strategy in our business, both channels share similar significance and importance to The Seamstress in helping us achieve our success.

The Online Channels shall be helpful in widening our reach to not only local stakeholders, but internationally too, through digital marketing and advertising, and draw them into our physical store.

Whilst using the Offline Channel for a physical store, location is our primary strategy as we would wish our discerning customers to feel welcome in our brick-and-mortar when they come for measurements, fittings, and even collecting of their goods.

Finally, due to our industry being fashion, our clients still prefer to physically see, and touch and feel, our outfits when they want to make a purchase, especially if they are first-time buyers.

OA: Where do you see African fashion in the next 5 to 10 years?

CK: I see most celebrities accepting African fashion and embracing it internationally. I strongly believe that we shall be seeing more African designs in the Oscars and Golden Globe Awards amongst other international platforms. We have so much untapped talent and we are about to take the industry by storm.

OA: What 5 pieces of advice would you give to young African fashion designers wanting to enter the fashion industry?

CK: My Advice to young African designer

  • The world is your oyster. All you have to do is spread your wings.
  • Success is not experienced overnight, put in the work and it shall surely come.
  • Social media likes do not equal sales. Clients will buy even without liking your pictures.
  • Every time you feel lost, remember why in a world where you could be anyone you decided to be a designer.
  • Always be true to yourself.

OA: Is there anything else you would like to add?

CK: I would like to thank you for giving me and The Seamstress fashion line by extension, the opportunity for this interview and for deeming us worthy of it. When the names of people and organizations that led the Kenyan fashion industry to be recognized worldwide will be written, yours shall surely be there.

Content courtesy of The Seamstress, African le’kiondo & Nairobi fashion hub 



Kenyan Fashion Designers and Models : Making Fashion Stories 2021 Calls For Submissions 

Dear Kenyan fashion designers & Models

Designer Spotlight aims to showcase Kenyan designers and makers who center their work around sustainability, transparency, fairness, and equity, telling their stories, educate and inspire crafters and enable them to make informed decisions. We share scenes that tell not just one story, about a Kenyan fashion designer but all rounded We at Nairobi fashion hub publish pieces from a diverse range of voices, we’re interested in exploring and learning from different perspectives and strengthening our community, and we offer a platform for writers who express what they care about in their work.

“Power is gained by sharing knowledge,not hoarding it”

Please send your full submission to social@nairobifashionhub.co.ke

Photo courtesy of Ashok Sunny Tailored Limited

Content courtesy  of Nairobi fashion hub 

Top 10 Fashion Shows Events In Kenya

A fashion show is an event put on by a fashion designer to showcase his or her upcoming line of clothing during Fashion Week. Fashion shows debut every season, particularly the Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter seasons. This is where the latest fashion trends are made. A fashion show is an ensemble of creative ideas, right from ramp, lighting, and décor, to models and clothing.

Success of a fashion show depends on whether it is able to spark the imagination of audience, and convince them to buy those clothes. Themes in fashion shows, are able to do just that, as they provide theatrics and create drama, at an otherwise normal show.

Fashion events not only create a buzz in their home countries but attract people from all over the world. These events encourage creative and diverse ideas in the fashion industry and also helps generate revenue for other industries as well.

Over the past few years, the fashion scene in Kenya has undergone massive changes. One could even say that it has been democratized. Even right now it is growing in leaps and bounds even though sometimes it may not be apparent. With the large number of fashion events that we have presently, it can be difficult to decipher which ones are actually the best and worth looking out for.

Do you know what the 10 biggest fashion events in Kenya are?

1. Kenya Fashion Awards
Established in 2012 the Kenya Fashion Awards is celebrating the contributions of the designers, fashion photographers, models, fashion stylists, make-up artists, hair stylists and creatives to the fashion scene.
Its aim to recognize and celebrate the wealth of fashion talent across Kenya and East Africa.
The event provides a stepping stone for emerging talent into the highly competitive fashion arena through networking, promotion and guidance.
Winning or being shortlisted for an Award provides endless rewards for designers, photographers, models … who participate as the event offer s a great opportunity to increase brand awareness and to showcase designers, photographers or fashion stylists work to the industry professionals, fashionistas, press and media.

2. Nairobi Fashion Week 

The Nairobi Fashion Week  ( NFW ) is a creative idea targeted to be a meeting place for the nation and Africa’s most creative talent. It’s an event created to showcase East Africa’s designers, stylist’s,producer’s, commentators, sponsors and everyone in between to a global audience.

NFW has been conceptualized to provide a leading platform for the Kenyan fashion industry to grow. It brings together all the necessary components under one roof to provide an opportunity to incubate and grow the Kenyan fashion industry.

3. Fashion High Tea

The event prides itself on being one of the few local events that combine fashion and charity, by collaborating with philanthropist,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.

Fashion High Tea has proven itself time and again to be one of the premiere fashion events in the country, the event brings together designers from all over the world to showcase their work to the local market.

4. The JW Show

Aim to connect, Kenya, Africa And the world through fabric and design,this style-studded fashion extravaganza congregates men and women who are pushing the envelope of sustainable local fashion brands that have transcended borders and caught global attention. Make a date with us and be part of this iconic show where style will meet elegance.

The event mostly offers a platform to young upcoming designers with more established designers opting not to showcase due to the presentation format,he JW Show, organized by Jeffrey Wilson, has proven itself not once or twice but several times to be among the top fashion events in Kenya.

5. Tribal Chic

Tribal Chic is Nairobi’s most respected fashion show. The annual event is hosted by Tribe Hotel and aims to showcase the best Kenyan and international designers to local fashion insiders. Following in the footsteps of previous worthwhile happenings in the city, namely Kenya Fashion Week and FAFA, Tribal Chic has over the past few years, become a flag bearer for promoting Kenya’s fashion infrastructure. This is thanks in large part to the show’s curator Alina Haq and choreographer Sunny Dolat.

“The concept is simple  we want to showcase great design,” says Dolat. “For the line-up we look for something fresh that the audience will appreciate and buy. It’s a show that aims to surprise and impress.”

Held annually at Tribe Hotel at around 14th December, this event attracts thousands of artists, designers to come showcase their talent. It accommodates both local and international fashionistas. It was founded with an aim of helping the less fortunate in the society.

6. Fashion Couture Affair

Fashion couture affair is a runway event , started in 2016 and its managed by fashion killers 254. its a platform for designer, models, exhibitors, artists and any other business related to fashion,The event traces its roots to Nairobi Railways museum where most of the editions have been held.

7. Samantha’s Bridal Wedding Expo

Samantha’s Bridal Wedding Expo is a bi-annual event where all wedding service providers in the industry come together and showcase the very latest in wedding trends,The Samantha’s Bridal wedding fair is an exciting 3-day event filled with fashion, beauty and style. It is Kenya’s most dynamic and effective place to meet leading industry players in the wedding, beauty, honeymoon, Kenyan fashion giants and affluent women and their families.

The event spans a couple of days with close to a hundred vendors in attendance to showcase and promote their brands. There’s a runway segment that give a better view at how the wedding attires look like.

8. Entrepreneur Fashion Week

EFW is a great event with three key elements, Fashion shows, mini expo and master class that hat pulls together business owners, industry insiders, exhibitors and fashion lovers in East, south and West Africa across fast fashion, contemporary luxury and trends for the world apparel production and supply for both European and African buyers and an opportunity for brands to meet and spark possible business opportunities & collaborations.

9. Kenya Worldwide Fashion Week

With the immense knowledge in the Fashion Industry  and Having  held Various High Profile Fashion Shows and Being Voted Fashion Ambassador Kenya ,Sonu strongly Believes “in a World of Color”.Her creativity “runs on an engine of passion,shape,textures and touch in a pattern that Leads to the Creation of Fashion.”

Sonu moved to Kenya from India in 2006 and soon realized that Kenya had lots to offer to the World and had a rich Cosmopolitan flair to it.  In a short time Sonu  has made a huge impact on the Kenyan Fashion scene, at Kenya Worldwide Fashion Week, local and international designers are given a chance to showcase their original haute couture pieces. It has held 7 editions so far.

10. Core Fashion Kenya Show

The Core Fashion Kenya aims to give the Kenyan fashion industry one voice; to help project local designers and talent onto the international fashion arena,with the aim of promoting local talent to penetrate the international market, Linda Murithi CEO of In The Bag saw the opportunity to give fashion industry a voice. Core Fashion Kenya is held at Tribe Hotel to nurture, celebrate and unify local talent fashion icons.

Turkana Fashion Week

Founded by Ignatius Wafula, Turkana Fashion Week aims to recreate Turkana culture using fashion beyond Kenya. It has received international recognition from the likes of Ajuma Nasenyana.

All the fashion shows events listed here may vary from ranking.

Content courtesy of Nairobi fashion hub Digital Team


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