Kenya’s fashion industry is always evolving.
However, the evolution from traditional attires to urban styles that brought a new dawn of unorthodox ways of designing was a bold fashion statement.
This week, I will talk about three young entrepreneurs – Keloy Mutuma, Habib Hussein and myself – who saw a niche in African and urban street wear and turned it into a business.
Our outfit is called Mzizi Wear Kenya and it means a lot to us.
The name ‘Mzizi’ which means ‘Roots’ in Kiswahili elaborates more about the designers who make their own designs from scratch, that is “from the roots”.
It is basically a youth empowered programme.
We met in July last year at the Railways Museum in Nairobi where we were modelling for an event, Fashion Couture Affair, hosted by Fashionkillers254.
It was our very first time to meet yet we clicked in an unusual manner; besides modelling in the event, we discovered that we could also design clothes.
That is when we went into business. We started off by designing outstanding outfits such as Dashiki hoodies, tee shirts, Bomber jackets, Balmin Pants, camouflage jackets, shorts and trousers.
Last year, we were featured in the respected Fashion Couture Affair 2016 and 2017 and The Dashiki Festival 2016 as designers.
This raised our bar higher. It gave us the confidence to do more and aspire to become the best Fashion House in Nairobi sooner than later.
When we started, we had no shop. We did free deliveries to our clients but a few months later, we got our shop at Imenti House on Moi Avenue/Tom Mboya Street.
Just like any startup, we faced a few challenges.
The most traumatic was staying for weeks without clients.
Hawkers also gave us competition as they sold cheap second hand outfits. We were ready to compete with the other fashion outlets in town since we know our quality and design are top.
Our slogan is “Buy African, build Africa” and at all times, #keepitmzizi. We are sure of success, one step at a time.