For the next month and a half, January and February, we have our eyes peeled on designers both in Kenya and Africa touching out hearts.
Happy Happy New Year to you all. 2017 it is then and we are ready to bring you our first series of the year; the Designer Focus Series. Last year we ended on a bang with our last two double month series from tackling technology in fashion and design (see here) to looking into conservation issues in fashion (see here).
This year we would like to start by taking note and sharing stories from the designers we believe should have their story told (and well, we love doing that so..it works). What we love the most about doing this is the excitement in finding out the back-story to a brand and discovering new awesome pieces for us to fall in love with. Who knows? There may be a designer this month that speaks right to you.
The fashion industry is constantly growing with new designers, photographer, models, make-up artists, stylists and other professionals growing in numbers. For that reason, its important that we keep seeking them out to tell their own unique stories. We could go on and on about how ‘African Fashion’ is becoming a landmark with designers like Maki Oh from Nigeria being worn by the likes of Beyoncé, Rihanna and Michelle Obama. What we would rather do this month is dedicate time to share stories on designer after designer that is touching our hearts.
We will delve in our Africa Features and looking at designers like menswear designer Roman Handt hailing from sunny Johannesburg, South Africa bringing us guerrilla couture. What is that you ask? Well, he describes it as taking unexpected materials, new construction techniques and re-imagined silhouettes to “create a genre for the modern man.” We like what he uses as a tagline: “like man- ever evolving.” From the looks of it, you will certainly not be bored by his work.
How about some Senegal for the soul with designer Selly Raby Kane who gives you a street wear flair with a little bit too much. We also take a look into furniture designers like the late Babacar M’Bodj Njang who was described as a design genius and one who combined his self-taught craftsmanship with pure joy.
Jumping then into our very own Kenyan designers. We take you to the culturally vibrant town of Lamu to bring you Aman founded by Sandy Bornman who is the epitome of her brand; easy-going with that free bohemian spirit that makes anyone comfortable. We also bring you the Kenyan born brand by Nicola Hanky, Urban Artefacts, whose pieces are simply gorgeous. Her brand is inspired by the nomadic lifestyle bringing you minimalist contemporary pieces such as the Niccola choker pictured below.
We will also speak to Deepa Dosaja (remember her from Tribal Chic here) to find out much more about her brand and her stunning silk dresses from her own designed prints that feel so wonderful to the touch and makes all her clients look good. I was in her studio just last week and a client of hers was trying on different pieces and every single one of them fit perfectly and made her so happy she could have bought everything. From her jumpsuits that are incredibly flattering (not easy to do) to her shirt dresses that scream elegance and comfort; Deepa Dosaja will be an exciting story to tell amongst many others.
Of course I can’t divulge all the stories we will have. There needs to be an element of surprise so hold on to your gadgets. All we know is, this month and a half will be jam packed with a whole host of designers for you to love and find – we hope it will be a match made in heaven.
Without further ado, let the Designer Focus Series begin.
Author: Wanjiku N. M | Editor and Founder of TDS | Twitter: @WanjikuNM