Originally named “La Kanga,” Lalesso is an African fashion and lifestyle brand that was founded in Kenya in 2005 by designers Alice Heusser and Olivia Kennaway. Since 2005, the brand has had many successes, including featuring in well-known magazines such as Vogue, Glamour and Elle. Moreover, Lalesso has been worn by world famous celebrities such as Kate Moss, Shakira, and Rihanna. The brand has a flagship store in Cape Town and is also available in retail outlets in Japan, Kenya, Italy and more.
Lalesso’s business model is one of transparency, sustainability combined with ethical production facilities in Kenya and South Africa. Thus, not only is Lalesso, one of the world’s only ‘zero-carbon’ fashion brands, it has also been vital in the support of Kenyan clothing factories. Zero Carbon refers to the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emission from various industries. Basically, it is introducing non-polluting carbon-saving projects in order to balance out C02 emission, like for example, factories that run solely on wind or solar power, this is called Carbon Offsetting. Lalesso works with CO2 Balance,a company dedicated to efficient energy intervention, to achieve a zero-carbon fashion brand.
Lalesso’s support of Kenya’s clothing industry has provided skills training and created employment with fair wages to employees. In fact, Lalesso has production ties to Soko and Wildlife Works, both located in Maungu Kenya.
Last month, Lalesso debuted their Spring/Summer 2015 collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town. In regards to their designs and style at the event Lalesso commented, “[we] get very inspired from the fabrics we are using. Prints are our trademark and with this collection we got the chance to play around with a lot of texture and a broad range of fabrics.” True enough, since the brand’s inception, the duo have used East African rich and vibrant khanga cloth as inspiration in creating their signature chic resort summer clothing.
Lalesso continues to expand across the world, inspiring and shining a beacon of hope onto African fashion.
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