Ten ‘Made in Kenya’ fashion brands you can rock this year
Kenyan fashion designers and clothing brands are setting the pace in threading authentic wear. ALFAYO ONYANGO takes a glimpse at some local alternative designs you can bet on when looking for something different this year
1. Looks Like Avido
The ubiquitous African Ankara prints have become a fetishised design globally to identify with Africa.
Not only during occasions do the kanga prints come out to play, these days, the look can be embellished during regular working days or just casual chill days depending on how one works it.
With fanny bags, blazers, shorts, dandy boots, pants, Looks Like Avido has you covered.
Separating himself from cookie-cutter designers with variety of multiple colourful patterns and minimal prints, his fabrics make him a favourite stylist for many celebrities such as Koffee, Fena Gitu, Chronixx, Jah Cure and G-Money, among others the list is endless. For throwaway prices, check him out.
2. Ooze Coolness
A distinctive street wear brand that can have you noticed in any setting, Ooze Coolness is an interesting high-end street wear brand with an eye for uniqueness.
From denim jackets, hoodies, shorts and sweats, their range is diverse with their trademark logo making them hard to miss if you’re looking to make a statement.
3. Mzizi clothing
Making a kill in the diaspora, the brand in the business of antique baseball jerseys celebrating Kenyan reference numbers (for example 63’ for the country’s independence), and national colours is emerging a favourite amongst street wear fanatics.
Appreciation of Kenyan history and events with itsy-bitsy design effort, the line is simplistic in incorporating Kenyan elements such as the flag hues to stand out in the crowd. Their calligraphy and fonts are pretty cool too.
4. 1v1 Garments
This artsy fashion line could be idolised as a Kenyan version of Awgie, Kapital, Chrome Jeans or River Island.
They are proudly 254. At affordable rates, you could own punk-grunge wardrobe that consists of a well-detailed graffiti art, patched jeans, symbolic gesturing, fearless social messaging and daring rips.
It’s definitely not for the faint hearted though, but a courageous risk and local support sound just right.
5. Against All Ads
This is where a woman meets her dream dress. The stall filled with designer dresses that bring out the best of every woman is here to save the day.
From silks, slits, knee-lengths, drag on the floors, to every colour your mind can imagine, the store is curated for every situation or ceremony a dress can be useful for.
Sales are frequent, but just make sure you don’t run in debt trying to pick everything from their hangers.
Designed by Instagram muse Afro Minimalist, the valiant dresser does not hold back with his work.
From less intricate pieces that may narrow in on the elements of fabrics alone, to complex, chaotic, but meticulous items including roping, bangles, zippers, straps, the experimental organisation makes clothes perfect for layering.
A relatively new luxury house-based in Nairobi, the clothing line posters art pieces by one of their owners, Patti Endo, giving their products a vintage original touch.
From simple casual tees and beige tote bags, they are perfect for weekend wear, carrying around perishable stuff and ultimately looking chic in a unisexual way in any given environment.
8. Vitimbi by Oliver Asike
Co-owner of creative entrepreneurs 2manysiblings, Oliver Asike has a new fashion line in the works. Made of recycled wastes, the brand is revolutionary.
Premiered during his Thrift Social event featuring musician IamDDB last year, the line is all kinds of polarising.
The idea of celebrating makanga uniform by modifying it into overall-wear kind of excites, coming in strong base colours such as dull maroon, bright yellow and charcoal black.
The idea is fresh, but can be obnoxious to those not exactly receptive to new ideas. They also have amazing tie and dye material and comfy fleece jackets with neat aesthetics perfect for any weather condition.
9. Maverick Itumo
A student in a school of creativity, the audacious designer has for more than a year managed to be discreet and under the radar in releasing his limited notable collections.
From alternative flying saucer hats, to the distinguishable nganya rings jewellery, he has no bounds on his minds’ reach and execution.
However, through his online clothing store Kenyan Vintage, you can access different street wear merchandise you don’t know you even longed for.
10. Joka Jok Fashion House
If you are into authentic high calibre leather, you have a home at this place. From business class bags to handbags, purses and all kinds of personally accustomed stuff, this is your go-to place.
Ready made for individuals who appreciate elegance, Joka Jok is an aficionados’ haven of sophistication with expert work on the texture being the winner on their items.