- Swahili influences
- Many young people eager to design
- Few big names so everyone knows who’s who
- Maasai culture
Room for improvement
- Underexposed internationally
- Limited skills to a certain extent and thus limited inventiveness
- Lack of proper training as this costs money and people who do wish to become artisans/designers cannot always afford this
- Lack of assistance by government in funding. Dependent on private sponsors etc. There are so many priorities – roads, hospitals, education – so fashion is at the bottom of the list
- There is no substantial market for exclusive Kenyan-produced designer products. Many wealthy/middle class Kenyans prefer to dress the ‘European way’ rather than embracing their African heritage. When I first moved to Kenya, I was shocked to see nobody dressing in traditional clothing as is the case in Nigeria or Ghana
- There is no fashion organization that brings artists and designers together
Are you involved in the Kenyan fashion industry? Are you a Kenyan fashionista? What’s your take on the strengths and opportunities for growth?
Photo taken at the 2011 Tribal Chic Fashion Show by Mia Collis via Tribe Hotel Kenya’s Facebook page.