With the 2nd Hub of Africa Fashion Week just around the corner, December 13th to 17th 2011 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; organizers, Clairvoyant and In the Bag, are busy preparing Addis Ababa for the numerous designers, dignitaries and manufacturing gurus that will descend on the diplomatic capital of Africa.
Featuring designers from Liberia, Niger, Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Somalia, Uganda, DRC, Tanzania and South Africa; planning such a global event is no easy feat.
A former Capital FM presenter, Linda Murithi of In The Bag (one of the organizers), has clearly moved on to bigger and better things including realizing one of her dreams – the Hub of Africa Fashion Week.
Hub of Africa Fashion Week founders (L-R) Mahlet Teklemariam and Linda Murithi at the inaugural Hub of Africa in 2010
A Capital Lifestyle exclusive: Linda Murithi in her words
1. In a nutshell who is (Linda Murithi) …
Linda is different – nuts. Linda wants a parrot, a goat named “curry’ (you should say that with a Jamaican accent for the full effect), two cats one jack russels and a nice small cottage in the Cayman Islands or Mombasa. Linda is constantly evolving, growing and learning and having the time of my life while doing so….
2. From radio presenter of founder of Hub of Africa, how has the journey been….
The journey has been amazing. From working in an amazing industry in media and Starting the Hub of Africa Fashion week with my partner Mahlet who is also founder, it’s been a very humbling experience because of all the people I have met and worked with and who have believed in the projects that I have been working on. They jumped on board without asking questions… including you Susan… you were part of the 1st edition of the Hub of Africa Fashion Week – it’s been a blessing.
3. I have had a passion for fashion since…
I don’t think fashion is a passion, I think it’s a way of life and a way of expression… fashion has helped me express my different phases that are ever changing.
4. Do you have plans of designing?
No plans of designing but my company In the Bag is working with designers to promote and build their brands /clothing line.
5. You’ve also worked at Capital, tell us a little more about your experience…
Capital was the reason I moved back to Kenya, and that was an amazing experience. I learnt so much from Capital and the people that I worked around, which was the reason Afro FM in Addis Ababa brought me on board as a Programs Manager. I owe Capital a lot, am am very appreciative of the experience! I was lucky enough to have worked with amazing people like Chao, Soulo, Somoina,Vinny,Zuhura, Nana, Danny, Joe, Dj Adrian, Victor an em’… way too many to mention…
6. Who’s your fave designer…
There so many that I love and have worked with, but if I was a dude, I would be rocking Ozwald Boteng! Now he’s just amazing. The colors are bold and his cuts are outstanding and clean. Lets put it this way, there is no excuse for African men not to look good! But I do love John Kaveke, loving the Blackbird crew, Kimathi and his amazing street wear, Kipusa an up and coming brand that women should look out for and i have been rocking Fikerte Addisu, she is the first designer to work with In the Bag and we have an exclusive line that will be available soon. Oh, I do love the Mataano twins, they have a classic line and Kahindo – she makes African prints look to chic – you just want to wear it and be proud….
7. What’s in your wardrobe that is a must have…
I have scarfs by Suzzanne that are made here in Ethiopia. Some of her scarfs are weaved with a mix of Indian silk and the habesha cotton. The colors are vibrant which in some way make me happy… the days seem better when ever I have one on… plus the compliments are always great! 🙂
8. What are your expectations for African fashion? Is it just a trend or a movement worldwide?
My expectations are to have people wearing African Brands. We are creative and we have so many talented designers that need to seen. To be seen means that we need to start wearing their brands. It’s a sense of African pride and we should be very proud of. The only times I see most women wearing African designs is during special occasions and I think we need to change that. When Mahlet and I started the fashion week, this was one of the things that we wanted to showcase to the public. It’s not just about the girls on the runway wearing the outfits, anyone, big or small can Rock African.
I think that this is a movement, not a trend. African’s are here to stay, we need to support the brands and build them.