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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Supermodel Ajuma Covers COUTURE AFRICA Beauty Issue

Ajuma on the cover of Couture Africa Magazine.

For those of you who don't know about this Kenyan glamazon, Ajuma Nasenyana is an international supermodel (formerly of Ford Models) with a resume that includes work for Ungaro, LACOSTE, Issey Miyake, and Vivienne Westwood.

The Beauty Issue is available now on Nairobi store shelves, and also digitally here.

... and inside.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Tanzanian Bespoke Suit Maker SHERIA NGOWI Makes Waves

Designer Sheria Ngowi

Sheria Ngowi is receiving all kinds of honours and accolades these days. This guys has been quietly building a brand in high-end custom menswear in Tanzania. and now with critical acclaim at Swahili and Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa, it's all starting to pay off. Grown men only allowed here. In an interview late last year, Sheria says:

"My aim is to at least spark interest and growth in the fashion industry in Tanzania and Africa as a whole and challenge these fashion superpowers because we have talent, all that we need is exposure and investment in the right areas."

Sheria Ngowi has been featured here in VOGUE Italia, which would be a coup for any designer from any part of the world:

The Sheria Ngowi flagship store is now open in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. We love it.

Kenyan-Based Jewellery Designer Adele Dejak at GUILD Design Fair in Capetown

"Between 27th February and 9th March, 8,500 visitors made their way to the inaugural GUILD Design Fair in Cape Town to enjoy hand-made limited-edition design from celebrated global galleries and institutions.
We were in attendance, as part of the Design Network Africa (DNA) delegation, along with commercial galleries, design organisations and revered institutions from Brazil, Italy, South Africa, Spain, UK, USA and beyond."
See hi-lights from Adele's trip here.

Friday, April 4, 2014

OUR Lupita Starts to Make That Coint

Our local heroine Lupita Nyong'o has just gotten the inevitable... the honour of being named the new face of a HUGE brand. That brand is cosmetics giant Maison Lancome. Read the deets on The Hollywood Reporter, and watch her make the announcement here:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Behind-the-Scenes: DRUM Magazine Fashion

For this one, we shot on location at the Red Lands Roses farm on the outskirts of Nairobi.

*Apologies for the poor picture quality, my camera phone's trippin*

A busy pack house
Abraham (photographer) and Jambo (donkey)

Jambo (donkey), Annabel (Stylist)

Jambo was, of course, the real star of the day.

The issue will be out in April, so look out for it.


Image of the Week

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Joburg: South African designer David Tlale leads this very stylish revolution.

So it's decided: AFRICA IS THE FUTURE.

Our TV Show ("Fashion Watch") Gets Reviewed

"From the first time it aired a few weeks ago, Fashion Watch has become a must-watch if the reactions on social media are anything to go by. Its panel which comprises celebrity stylist Annabel Onyango, Sunday Nation fashion writer Carol Odero, news presenter Lilian Muli and Ian has been generous and underwhelming in equal measure. Lillian reads only the positive reactions and shuns the negative ones."

                                                                                          -Zuqka, Nation Media

Read the whole thing here.

Kenyan Fashionista in FLARE Magazine

Biko Beauttah. Image courtesy of

My buddy Biko Beauttah is in the Toronto press again, this time she's featured in FLARE Magazine as a "Queen of Toronto Fashion". Kenyan-born Biko's socialite tendencies and flamboyant style are legendary on the fashion scene of the Canadian city. She's in good company in this reel, but I think she's still THE BEST of all! 




Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sooo... I Have a TV Show!

I haven't blogged in a while cause there's been a lot going on work-wise. Most salient of all is that I'm now on a panel that critiques the fashion choices of the week of Kenyan personalities and celebrities. It's called #FashionWatch and the audience loves to love and hate on us on Twitter. Totally fun. For those of you in Kenya #FashionWatch airs every Saturday night at 9.45pm on Citizen TV. That's me on the left every time :-)

Why Is My Blog Turning Into the Lupita Nyong'o Blog?

Image courtesy of

Maybe it's because her editorial styling really gets me most of the time. Here, she does her thing for February 2014. Here's the behind-the-Scenes vid:

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Behind-the-Scenes: YOU ARE IT (2013)

Remember our You Are It fashion film? Here is the behind-the-scenes reel as shot and edited by Kelvin Muema. The film showed at two US short film festivals last year, and has been submitted to the Bokeh South Africa International Fashion Film Festival.

You Are It - Behind the Scenes from Gecko Production on Vimeo.

DIRECTOR Jakub Zahradnicek
PRODUCER Annabel Onyango
STYLING Annabel Onyango, Namnyak Odupoy
MODEL Namnyak Odupoy, Nancy Ndelela Pappas
CAMERA Jakub Zahradnicek, Tomas Maule
BTS VIDEO Kelvin Muema
MUSIC Saraswa

You can watch the actual film here.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Lupita Nyong'o: Ofcourse She Won #Oscar

Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'o wins a Best Supporting Actress Oscar at the 86th Academy Awards for her role in 12 Years a Slave. She did it wearing a custom-made, plunging, powder blue PRADA gown with Fred Leighton jewels and headband. She told Ryan Seacrest that the blue reminded her of the Nairobi sky.

Could it get better than this?

"No matter where you're from, your dreams are valid."

                                                                                                                 - Lupita Nyong'o

Friday, February 28, 2014

PENNY WINTER for VS.Magazine

Helena Christensen wears a neck cuff by Penny Winter for Edun

Kenyan-based designer Penny Winter accessorizes Danish supermodel Helena Christensen with a horn and crystal choker on the cover of this month's VS. Magazine. I've never heard of this mag until now, but it's a pretty cool mix of fashion and pop culture (curated through film) in a way that feels new and cutting-edge.

Christensen guest-edits the issue, and is styled in the spread in distinguished labels including Blumarine, Tom Ford, and Chanel. Penny Winter is in good company on this one. 

Here's a Penny Winter throwback I styled a couple of years ago for UP! Magazine:

Model Namnyak Odupoy in Penny Winter clothes & accessories for UP! Magazine. Image by Touko Sipilainen.

...And here's the woman behind the brand, Penny Winter (centre), at work:

Image courtesy of Spohszene, where you can read some background on the prolific designer.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

#FashionWatch Debuts on Kenyan TV

Last night, Citizen TV debuted a lifestyle segment called Fashion Watch. I'm thrilled to be on the expert panel alongside Ian Mugua (Judge, Tusker Project Fame), Carol Odero (Editor, DRUM Magazine), and Lillian Muli (News Anchor, Citizen TV). As interest in fashion and lifestyle in this country flourishes, we're hoping to create a show that approaches local style with a critical eye, and celebrates the sartorial efforts of various public figures and media personalities.

Watch the first episode here!:

For those of you who can, tune in every Saturday night at 9.30pm on Citizen TV. Or you can stream it live here. Either way - watch.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Behind-the-Scenes: #MadeinKenya for DRUM Magazine

Last week we shot the DRUM Magazine fashion editorial for March. We shot at the SANDSTORM factory in Karen, Nairobi, where premium-quality leather bags are hand-made and dispatched across the world to discerning customers. Just this week, Malaika Firth of VOGUE supermodel fame was seen toting her Sandstorm bag around en route to London Fashion Week.

So to go with the #MadeinKenya ethos of SANDSTORM, we used a mere handful of #MadeinKenya designers in a showcase of how accessible, viable (and edgy) local fashion really can be.

WAMBUI MUKENYI lace gown, SANDSTORM weekender bag. That's me in the bottom corner.


ITIKADI crop-top and matching skirt with angel print detail.

PEPERUKA tee paired with a tulip skirt by KIPUSA

Blouse & shorts from BLACKFLY

MAKEUP Wacuka Thimba
HAIR Shiro Wanyoike
MODEL Roselyn Muringo

If you're in Kenya, pick up your March issue of DRUM Magazine in about a week.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

AfricaFashionGuide Peddle "I Am An African" Tees

"Find out more about these African campaign tees by coming along to our Fashion Africa 2014 conference" - AFG

Message from AfricaFashionGuide:

"We want your presence at the top London African fashion conference event for 2014! Just 7 more days to book!

If you are interested in ethical fashion? And/or would like to find out more about fashion design and production in Africa? Then you need to come along to our Fashion Africa 2014 Conference 2014 for the one off opportunity to listen to the best industry leaders in African fashion in London, together in one place then you cannot miss this event! 

We will also have speakers coming in from Nairobi, Kenya! This is a major African fashion event and is just a week away so dont miss out book now!

Our full list of speakers on the panel are as follows
PANEL 1) Sustainable Fashion Made in Africa
Alice Mostert - Solidaridad
Liesl Truscott - Textile Exchange
Mark Stephenson - Sandstorm Kenya
Mo Tomaney - UCA tutor
Paola Masperi - Mayamiko in Malawi
Prama Bhardwaj - Mantisworld
Tamsin Lejeune - Director Ethical Fashion Forum

PANEL 2) The Future of African Fashion 
Annegret Affolderbach - CHOOLIPS brand
Daphne Kasambala - S'APELLE boutique
Helen Jennings - KISUA online store
Ituen Basi - Fashion Designer
Sinem Bilen-Onabanjo of FAB Magazine,
Terence Sambo of One Nigerian Boy 

We also have our GUEST SPEAKER - ANN MCCREATH of FAFA KENYA and KIKOROMEO brand all the way from Nairobi Kenya! 

SO it is going to be a hot event to be at during Fashion Week season.
Social Enterprise Africa Fashion Guide brings our FASHION AFRICA Conference back to London this February.
This evening event will take place on Wednesday 26th February and will consist of a panel discussion with international industry leaders entitled Fashion Africa 2014. This yearly conference acts as a means to discuss and promote the full supply chain of African Fashion Design, Textiles, and Manufacturing and thus communicate this to a larger, global audience.
Come along to network and share your experiences. It only happens once a year so dont miss out book today!"

Monday, February 17, 2014

KIKO ROMEO Dresses Lupita's Mom

As #Lupitafever runs into fever pitch, her mom (who by the way is my Auntie Dot, shameless plug) is now officially in on the action. Sunday's BAFTA red carpet introduced the world to the woman behind the child-wonder Lupita Nyong'o. Graceful, beautiful, and every inch as poised as her now world-famous offspring, Mrs. Dorothy Nyong'o wore none other than Kenyan fashion brand KIKO ROMEO. Yes, Kenya!

Dorothy Nyong'o alongside BAFTA-nominated Lupita Nyongo.

Oh - Lupita wore Dior Couture and Anna Khouri accessories. Her supporting role in 12 Years a Slave was honoured with an overall Best Picture win. The Oscars follow in two short weeks.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

GUINNESS Shines a Light on Les Sapeurs

I mean, La Sape is one of the dopest fashion sub-cultures I know of. It declares that less-than-ideal circumstances don't have to stop you from living your full life. There's a great deal of dignity in being stylish.

Posted on the blog a couple of weeks ago, here's the GUINNESS ad that condenses this whole story.

"In life you can always choose who you are."

Monday, February 10, 2014

In Case You Had Any Doubts About Spring Florals

Image courtesy of Fashion Bomb Daily

New York Magazine and Lupita Nyong'o confirm what we already suspected: Spring florals ARE IN. Very in.

Check out the story here.

Best Foot Forward: Fashion High Tea 2014

Every year at about this time, Zen Garden in Nairobi hosts it's annual Fashion High Tea. Yes, it's a pretty fancy affair. There's Moët on tap, a sushi bar on ice, a cheese corner, cater waiters, lots of little boutique stands, cupcakes, beer, a deejay playing somewhere, preening ladies, cute little sandwiches with the crusts cut off, strawberries, fresh-cut flowers, models, people-watching, and LOTS AND LOTS of fashion. No other public event in this town (that I've seen anyway) inspires people to really make a civilized effort.

I've been to this thing every year since its inception, and every year I'm even more keen. There's a certain anticipation. For one thing, you have to plan what to wear. It's not a "Oh I'll just see what I have in the closet" sort of occasion. There's a lot to coordinate: dress, shoes, bag, hat. And if you have a partner or a friend, you have to plan what they'll wear too! It all has to work. And that... is exactly the kind of thing I live for.

This year did not disappoint. Literally the first thing I saw when we got there was Franklin Saiyalel's cane! Yes, a cane. Metallic handle. Fashion twins Wambui Kibue and Wambui Thimba wore the same designer (Angelsmile) with entirely different results: one in trendy mixed prints and a flash of navel, the other in a classic to-the-knee red cocktail look with a matching fascinator. Both looked perfect. The handsome Heineken administration showed a united front in matching blue seersucker suits. Sauti Sol, who've been looking really grown and clean lately all wore jackets in that expertly "broken" style they've perfected. Fashion PR Strategist Diana Opoti and I (clearly of the same mind) chose a riot of floral print and colour: hers, a high-skirt creation by David Tlale; me - a custom suit by Ankara Vintage. Even the snake-tongued MC Fareed Khimani rode the masculine version of the floral wave with a black brocade blazer that fit him like a glove.

We sipped, nibbled, air-kissed, preened, gossiped, laughed, posed, enjoyed a runway show, won a raffle (a Samsung printer), and drank some more.

On a less shallow note, after all the canapées are eaten and the last of the Prosecco is drunk, a portion of the ticket proceeds go to a charitable cause. A little tipsy and with hurting feet, we all go home reluctantly, and wait to do it all over again next year. Special thanks to Shivani Radia Patel of Zen Garden for being an ever-graceful host, and the rest of the Fashion High Tea producers, designers, and sponsors, who really know how to throw down.

I live for summer florals. Here, a custom-made suit by Ankara Vintage. Marek in blue summer linen. Image: Mi-Fone

That plastic skirt on the left! Image: Nick Klaus.
Larry Jakanoi. Image: Nick Klaus
Wambui Thimba in Angelsmile
Wambui Kibue, Designer at Angelsmile
Blaze of Mi-Fone (centre) with Vandana Hart (right) and friend.

Franklin Saiyalel, cane, & Suzie Wokabi of SuzieBeauty.

Marek Fuchs of Africacentric, Floris Dekampenaer of Heineken.

Chimano (Sauti Sol), Edward Ngera, Max Richiedei. Image: Nick Klaus.

Models wear whatever they damn want.

Image: Nick Klaus

Sarah Hassan & Nick Mutuma of Mashariki Mix

Makeup artist Steve Koby (right) and friend.

Diana Opoti of Designing Africa

Shivani Radia Patel & Payal Radia of Zen Garden & Fashion High Tea

Designers that showcased at the Fashion High Tea runway show included Njema Helena, KOOROO, Masaba, Shenu Hooda, & Neha.

Images courtesy of Eye-Con Photography, Nick Klaus, and Mi-Fone. Thank-you!