Fashion in Kenya: strengths and room for improvement

Posted by Mary Bosibori on

Today, Adele shares her insider perspective on Kenya’s fashion industry.

Strengths

  • 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.

Adele Dejak Category_Africa-Forward Category_Our World designers fashion improvement international Kenya market strengths Tribe Hotel Kenya

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