Kenyan fashion designers now need to gear up

Everyone loves a good fashion show. It’s always a treat to the eyes to see beautiful women and handsome toned men strut their stuff on the catwalks adorned in the most amazing of creations. But then when it’s the same thing being seen on the catwalks over and over again it gets a bit boring.

It is a great thing that Kenyan designers finally got to launch the Association of Fashion Designers (AFAD) with hopes to revolutionize the local fashion industry. This kicked off recently with a catwalk fashion event dubbed “Safari Fashion Week” that had over 15 designers showcase their creations.
That is a very huge step forward in the fashion world. However, the only challenging bit is that most of the creations on the catwalk stage were the same old creations we are so used to seeing. Our designers should now endeavor to come out of their comfort zone and create outfits that can compete internationally.

While creating an outfit and seeing your creation come to life is a great experience as it is not very easy to do so, there’s still that need to create new ideas as getting with the times in the fashion industry is mandatory. Making a creation that will not only be appreciated by your local clients but by most people the world over should be the task at hand.

I would imagine that when it comes to fashion, we would like to be on the international map just like South Africa has continued to do. Their fashion week attracts the who’s who in the fashion industry from all corners of the world. And seeing as what is created in Kenya only suits a few people, it’s not a shock that only one or two Kenyan designers get invitations to showcase their creations at such international fashion events. Have a look at some creations by African designers who got to showcase at the African Fashion Week in South Africa last month: Africa Fashion Week

Aren’t we tired of the same tie and dye outfits? We’ve seen them over and over. The difference maybe comes in the colors but everything else is almost the same. Even if it is creating African wear, we can use other fabrics to suit different people’s needs. It would help if we implemented the use of other fabrics like lace, chiffon, polyester, a bit of leather etc.
African could also mean using colors that are so African (the earth colors).We don’t necessarily have to use the “kitenge” fabric to show that we are African.
A good fashion creation has to be something everyone can wear, both young and old and feel good wearing it. Style and fashion is all about what makes you look appealing and the creation should do just that.

Here are some of the designers from the “Safari Fashion Week” who tried to use different fabrics and designs:






photo credit: Muthoni Njuki

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  1. Avatar Mummy Tales December 2nd, 2011 at 7:38 am

    Evelynne Odongo’s are probably the ones that have caught my eye. The rest….nah.

  2. Avatar Chantal Ongaro December 2nd, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Patricia Mbela’s designs are the best! love her work and did extremely well in both Nigeria and Swahili fashion week 🙂

  3. Avatar Aloicetony December 3rd, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    eveylen odongo design is perfect

  4. Avatar martin December 7th, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Everly Odongo and Careen Asamba, truly Kenyan designs. I think the 2 concepts sd be expanded to define a Kenyan dress more expressly. Bt the models have too much makeup!!

  5. Avatar Martin njuguna December 9th, 2011 at 7:27 am

    ths is a gud concept & it also show we ave talent in kenya

  6. Avatar Achieotigo December 9th, 2011 at 9:59 am

    OH MY GOD,Maureen, i couldn’t agree with you more!!!! Fashion should never be LITERAL; not to mean that the kangas, vitenges and such like fabric types are bad let alone the only way Africans can show their identity. We are such a diverse continent with infinite teachings, practises etc that can be morphed into amazing looks.

  7. Avatar blackbird jeans December 26th, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    maureen u just said it straight right thea i wish we had people viewing things the way you do then kenyan fashion could be on set and on another level……braaaaaap


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