Nairobi Fashion Week is finally upon us. After a four-year hiatus, this event will provide the platform for twenty-five designers from around the world to showcase their new collections from November 25th-26th at the Sarit Expo Centre in Nairobi.
This year’s theme is tagged Blue Print, and the organizers want to focus on making Nairobi one of the fashion districts of the continent as well as attracting stockists and more designers. Pop-up exhibitions will also be part of the two-day event, allowing visitors to meet designers and exhibitors before the show at any time.
According to James Brian Kihindas, Creative Director, Nairobi Fashion Week:
The theme seeks to bring to life the cultural journeys and milestones of the designers through their original creations.
There will be a spectacular series of designs showcased to fit the theme. The event promises elegance with a purpose. It will create a productive ground for careers to thrive and impact the fashion, art, textile and manufacturing industries.
Read on to learn more about the six designers to keep on your radar this Nairobi Fashion Week season.
Rose Palhares (Angola)
Rose Palhares was born in Angola and relocated to Portugal when she was 12. As a child, she always had a passion for fashion design, and it was in Brazil where she obtained her training. Her childhood dream came true, and she began her career as a stylist in her native country. Today she divides her life between Portugal and Angola, with a studio in Lisbon and another in Luanda. Palhares showcases on Day 2.
Lagos-based atelier Nonye of Nonnistics was once in the banking sector, where she excelled in crunching numbers. Now, she has translated that same passion into fashion and design. Nonye grew up and studied in Owerri, Imo state and later moved to the United Kingdom before taking fashion courses in the United States. She recently showcased at New York Fashion Week. See her SS23 collection on the 26th of November.
Chema Chetu (Kenya)
Evelyne Wanjiku is the founder and lead designer at Chema Chetu, a Kenyan leather goods brand known for outstandingly creative yet practical bags, totes, and purses.
In addition to her artistic vision and training in fine arts, Evelyne’s brand is a women-led and women-inspired company striving to empower its community through one leather book and bag at a time. Chema Chetu will showcase its SS23 Collection on Friday 25th.
As a child, Ghanaian designer Ami Tonye Yomekpe was fascinated by all things fashion after watching Style with Elsa Klensch on CNN back in the 80s; she was fascinated by fashion from all over the world, interviews with designers, backstage passes, and models on international runways.
It was not until a chance meeting much later, however, whilst working on her dissertation, that she took the first steps of her fashion journey. Following a series of interviews, the late Kofi Ansah, a trailblazer and celebrated Ghanaian fashion designer, who revolutionised the industry in Ghana, became a mentor and encouraged her to pursue her passion. Ami, a trained architect, would later start her brand Afromod Trends which was recently rebranded to MOD and would return to NFW for the second time.
Rossely was born in Angola, Luanda and grew up in Portugal and England. Moved by her passion for fashion and her ambition to promote a positive socio-economic impact in Angola, she decided in 2015, in Luanda, to create Pretah, a brand that reflects her love for retro and vintage style as well as her African origins. She’ll be showcasing her SS23 Collection on the 25th.
Andrea Galante (Angola)
Angolan-born Andrea Galante‘s passion for fashion began in childhood when she learned to tie the first knots in her dolls and clothes when she spent the afternoons with her grandmother, a seamstress by profession. Her brand features satin fabrics, lace, sparkles and daring cuts that emphasize a woman’s sensuality. In 2017, she began her transition to the bridal market. Andrea will be showcasing her SS23 Collection on the 26th.
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