VLISCO and its stunningly editorial ads have always been associated with West Africa and everything that is avant-garde about African fashion: lithe, dark models swathed in colour. The brand's much-anticipated official launch into Kenya yesterday shows the promise of how Kenyan fashion is finally catching up to the rest of the world. It's genuinely exciting.
For those of you who don't know, VLISCO is African printed fabric made in Holland with Dutch wax. It's a high quality fabric with bold colours and patterns that's been around for a long time. In Western Africa (Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Ghana, Nigeria...) wearing African textiles every day is really normal, rich or poor. It's quotidien. I grew up in Abidjan, so I know first-hand. We have a little more trouble with that over here, having succumbed to a more 'westernized' perspective on dressing. But truly nothing beats the scene of a bevvy of women dressed in African print.
We'll see how it all unfolds, how Kenyans incorporate traditional fabrics with modern shapes like the rest of the fashion world has been doing lately.
|Inside the showroom.|
|The crowd at the Evelyn School of Design.|
Big thanks to Mollie Mungai for facilitating the VLISCO entry into the Kenyan market, and for inviting me to be a part of this inaugural event. We wish the brand nothing but the best and hope it helps transform the face of fashion in Kenya.
The new Nairobi VLISCO showroom resides at the Evelyn School of Design in Lavington.