Blast from the past: A word from a fashion guru
ADRIAN KUMLI is a 23-year-old Nairobi-based Kenyan-Tanzanian fashion stylist, creative director and model, who works with some of the most prestigious fashion icons in the region. He shares his style preferences with SPICE
How do you define your style?
I’d describe it as experimental and refined.
Can you say it’s distinctive, too?
I think my mother being a fashion designer in the past affirms on to how much of a distinctive style I possess.
She always gave me the freedom to explore creativity through style and fashion, which is why I suppose I have a strong sense of individuality through my dressing.
Have your looks evolved overtime?
It has evolved drastically! When I think of the 16-year-old self, I can’t help but cringe.
I’d be wearing the multi-coloured skinny jeans with the plaid shirt, multicoloured Ray-Ban shades with the silly bands to match.
It was a mess, but I guess that was me exploring my creativity at the end of the day through dressing.
Does your career influence your style?
I wouldn’t say so. If anything just being consistent and expressing myself creatively online is what even brought about the different opportunities I’ve been able to be a part of.
The only shape and form that I would say that my career influences my style would be in the sense that I’m always inspired to be more experimental and creative when it comes to how I dress or how I express creatively.
What kind of brands do you see yourself in?
Calvin Klein for sure. I love how they run their brand image and creative output. The brand always stays true to its aesthetics.
Versace; their play on prints and colours always leaves me in a daze. They explore creativity as a whole and they are versatile when it comes to their creative output, which I truly admire about them.
Gucci as well; they are always making breakthroughs within the market with their many distinct items, sometimes even being politically bold with their designs, which I love to witness.
Do you have a style guilty pleasure?
Office shirts; they are versatile pieces to have in your closet as a man if you ask me.
It can be worn to whatever setting, depending on how you dress it up or down and how you accessorise.
Any fashion pet peeves?
The Dashiki. It’s been so overdone as of this point until it’s become tiring. People are even doing it on pencil cases now.
Don’t get me wrong though, it’s a beautiful design pattern, but it’s just been overdone!
Who and what are your style influences?
I’d definitely say Marlon Brando, Elvis Presley and a whole lot of 80s fashion. I loved the aesthetic of the time then, and Marlo Brando did it justice.
I love how less can be more and his style definitely is a testimony to this. As for Elvis Presley, I loved how experimental he was with his outfits and the strong sense of identity he created for himself through his dressing.
As for the 80s, it was quite the opposite; very expressive and playful. It was for men’s fashion if you ask me.
I truly do enjoy how at this period of time there were many options when it came to what a man could wear because they were not limited when it came to expression through dressing as compared to nowadays.
Some looks were a little absurd of course in the 80s, but it’s just interesting to see how different people from different walks of life would express themselves through this medium.
What do you find yourself stocking up on a lot?
I’d say deodorant. I’m going to blame my mum for this one. It’s because of her I have been using deo since I was like two.
Take us through your skin regimens.
Definitely would say olive oil, because you can use it both for your skin, body and hair.
And its highly moisturising as it quickly gets absorbed into the skin and hair follicles as compared to other oils such as coconut oil.
And I also use olive oil after shaving to avoid razor bumps, if you’re a guy who deals with razor bumps like I did before, this one’s for you.
When I shave, I shave down with the gradient of the hairs. As going up against it causes irritation, hence the razor bumps.
Once done shaving, wet your palms, apply olive oil, rub your hands and massage the olive oil into the parts of the face that you’ve shaved and your done.
How important is image to you?
Image is important to me only because sometimes your image dictates how seriously you can be taken by the different people around you, and if anything I want to be respected and taken seriously.
What should we look out for from you this year?
A lot more originality, as I take the time that I currently have to grow and explore what my style is.