TDS Designer Focus: Nawalika Designs

[Image: Courtesy of Nawalika Designs]

In the story of fashion, accessories are said to be the exclamation point to any outfit. And if you’re looking to punctuate your style with pieces stirred by the life and scenery of the African continent, look no further than Nawalika Designs. This Kenyan-based accessory brand uses the medium of metal, suede and leather to express their contemporary design. Here’s why TDS loves the raw and bold designs of Nawalika Designs:

[Image: Courtesy of Nawalika Designs]

1# Eco Fashion Conscious

With the slogan, “Giving new life to something old and used” this fashion brand I determined to have little or no waste in their production process. working with up-cycled and recycled materials, each product on their website lists just how they managed to give materials a second life. For example, brass used is recycled from old taps and padlocks while aluminium is sourced for old cookware or engine parts. Even the cut-offs don’t go to waste, with leather cut-offs going towards the creation of other accessories.

[Image: Courtesy of Nawalika Designs]

2# Ethical Fashion

With a strong ethos to grow and support local, almost majority of their products are 100% hand-made; except for industrial leather stitching machines for their handbags and belt designs. Working with talented artisans from several local workshops, the brand supports community projects in a bid to grow quality craftsmanship in the country.

[Image: Courtesy of Nawalika Designs]

3# They have a range for Men

It’s no secret that shopping for men or as a man can be a frustrating endeavour. When it comes to variety in men’s fashion, it can make anyone pop a stress vein. So, when brands dedicate part of their production process to it, fashionistas rejoice. Their Babalika range runs parallel to the Nawalika design concept. But if we’re honest, both the Nawalika and Babalika ranges are urbane and bold enough to be worn as unisex.

[Image: Courtesy of Nawalika Designs]

[Image: Courtesy of Nawalika Designs]

4# Mother-Daughter Creative Duo

You can’t deny the heart-warming element when family is involved. Both generations contribute to the success of the brand. Mother, Celine Verwiel, has always expressed herself through the arts such as painting, film, photography and design. Most importantly, she brings to the table her upcycling gift for breathing new life into products. Plus, her words on their website are just the sweetest, “Starting a business with one of my children is a dream-come-true for me. I feel like the luckiest mother in the world, to be part of my youngest daughter’s journey as a designer, while enjoying her companionship, navigating our different design styles and creating beautiful products as a team.

[Image: Courtesy of Nawalika Designs]

The daughter, Michelle Verwiel, armed with a BA (HONS) in Fashion Communication and Promotion she came back to Kenya with the aim to ‘make a difference in the recycled world of fashion in Africa’. She uses her inspiration from the Kenyan environment, textures and colours, as well as her travels, to push herself as a designer.

The Kwame Collection Handcrafted Bracelets [Image: Courtesy of Nawalika Designs]


The Kwame Collection Handcrafted Lariat Necklaces [Image: Courtesy of Nawalika Designs]

Working together, the result is a contemporary brand that takes on natural shapes for a chic, fusion product. Fashion that comes with a clean conscious. It’s a brand that allows each customer to embrace the brand’s ethos whilst staying true to their personal style.

*Available at The Designers Studio Flagship Store at Two Rivers Mall and The Urban African Lifestyle Company at the Hub Mall in Karen.

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