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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!


South African fashion export David Tlale has shown his first solo collection at Mercedes-Benz New York Fashion Week. We love Tlale not just because he's an African designer climbing the ranks at an international level, but also for his sense of overstated elegance. Soon, even people like me will drop the "African" from the description and just call him a "designer".

Veteran model and Africa's Next Top Model host Oluchi closes the show:

Oluchi Orlandi of Africa's Next Top Model fame

Images courtesy of Destiny Connect.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

And So It Continues... Lupita for VOGUE ITALIA

Surprisingly, some very attainable styling here from VOGUE Italia. All images courtesy of TheYBF.


Vanity Fair 20th Annual Hollywood Issue, photographed by Annie Leibovitz.

"To celebrate Vanity Fair's 20th Annual Hollywood Issue, the magazine celebrates a year of spectacular film with distinguished actors. The cover is a three-panel foldout by photographer Annie Leibovitz. It features Oscar nominees Lupita Nyong'o, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jared Leto, Julia Roberts, Idris ElbaMichael B Jordan, Naomie Harris, Brie Larson, Chadwick Boseman among many others!"

At this point, I no longer have any words regarding Lupita Nyong'o, her fame, her fabulousness, and her most remarkable Stylist. We wait for the Academy Awards in March.

Here's the actual VANITY FAIR cover:

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Introducing: The SWAADY Collection by Adele Dejak

"Hold on to your bag straps because you're about to be introduced to a new, dynamic side to Adele Dejak.
This year, we're launching our AD LUX range of products and the first collection, Swaady, is here! 
Swaady encompasses the African luxury movement – celebrating a rich African heritage while welcoming the African Renaissance.
We've taken to the next level, what we already do well. Working, as always, with the best artisans in Uganda and Kenya, Swaady comprises of handmade bags and jewellery, made from horn, recycled aluminium and recycled brass. "

Bahati bangle

Furaha Kuba Bag

Swaady Kitenge Bag

Swaady Hide Bag

Furaha Kitenge Bag

Swaady bags and jewellery launch at the Tribal Chic show in Nairobi at the end of 2013.

Find out more about and order Adele Dejak products here.