Kenya is the fashion hub of East Africa. With many models and designers based in Nairobi, the fashion industry continues to grow. As streetwear grows as fashion phenomenon, designers from Japan with the Harajuku style have made a name for themselves around the globe. Similarly, Kenyan urban designers are also taking on the challenge of articulating the quintessential Kenyan urban streetwear.
The following urban brands are definitely a must-have when embracing Kenya’s versatile street style:
This Nairobi-based urban clothing brand was among the first to adopt the khanga and leso as its main fabric. Creating easy and functional pieces including their trademark jackets. ChiliMango not only produces epic t-shirts with Kenyan proverbs that only a true Kenyan would appreciate, they also have bags, laptop sleeves, and even houseware. Popular with famed photographer Mutua Matheka and mega-artist Blinky Bill, the brand is definately the definition of afro-cool style.
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This brand is curated to reflect life in Nairobi. Releasing the capsule collection “NRB1988: Timeless Essentials” the brand has continued to enjoy great success. With a unique take on casual wear, the brand offers t-shirts, pants, skirts, and bomber jackets. With a clean aesthetic, Bongo Sawa is popular with rapper Muthoni Drama Queen, radio host Patricia Kihoro and even foodie Miss Mandi has been spotted in their fit.
3.Nairobi Apparel District
A more upscale urban fashion outlet, Nairobi Apparel District does effortlessly cool the Nairobi way and what’s not to love about that? Their brand offers t-shirts, sweatshirts, and their trademark printed jackets that are the epitome of Nairobi styling. Though their pricing might be relatively higher than other urban wear brands, the creativity and quality is justification enough. Thier pieces are popular with the likes of Capital FM’s radio hostAmina Abdi, Anne Mwaura among others.
This brand has been a mainstay in Kenya’s urban fashion scene. Dressing the average Joe in their t-shirts, sweatshirts and bomber jackets, the brand is the brainchild of Curtlow Lilako and George Asin. According to their Instagram bio, the brand is keep to spread “the message of friendship, togetherness and unity.” Popular among the Kenyan rugby fraternity, POeD has been involved in various activities in the community including fundraising efforts for a rugby player diagnosed with Meningitis. Established in 2012, the brand has overcome various obstacles to its customer base.
5. Peperuka World
Known for their Kenyan-isms such as “Sina Means” and “Am in a small meeting,” this urban wear brand has capitalized on Kenyan culture and celebrated it through their branded items. Honoring all things Kenyan, Peperuka World offers t-shirts, vests, snoods and various homeware including cups, pillowcases and even fridge magnets. Sophisticated and well-curated, this brand has grown bounds and leaps since its establishment.