10 top young fashion entrepreneurs in Kenya

NICK ONDU Nick Ondu is the CEO of Ankara Vintage; a leading fashion houses in Nairobi, Kenya. Nick is known for his well fitted suits and the meticulousness he infuses into his designs. Nick’s medium is ethnic prints: from paisley to bogolan to impressions of kuba cloth. He works them into cuts that are clean

NICK ONDU
Nick Ondu

Nick Ondu; CEO of Ankara Vintage

Nick Ondu is the CEO of Ankara Vintage; a leading fashion houses in Nairobi, Kenya. Nick is known for his well fitted suits and the meticulousness he infuses into his designs.

Nick’s medium is ethnic prints: from paisley to bogolan to impressions of kuba cloth. He works them into cuts that are clean and classic. The new shoulder for men is cut confidently wide, chiselling out the classic male silhouette. The colours range from subtle terracottas to celestial blues and rich saffrons.

He is not restricted to men’s fashion alone and he has dressed so many celebrities and graced so many runways such as FAFA. He recently released a new collection titled ‘The Sartorial Man’ – a representational mix between indisputable British elegance and impeccable Italian style.

VALERIE NYAMWAYA
valerie nyamaya

Valerie Nyamwaya; Executive Director, Afrivaze

During her undergraduate years at Egerton University, Valerie had already started designing. Her firm belief in the potentials in African fashion led her to start up Afrivazi – a platform that provides an opportunity for Kenyan artists and designers to showcase and sell their work to the local and the international market and thereby promote the made in Kenya brand as a strong brand that can compete on the global market.

Valerie is also in the business of promoting reading culture among rural schools in Kenya. She does this by donating books and traveling to spend time and offer mentorship to the pupils and students through her Feed the Mind Brighten the Vision Book Campaign.

 WAMBUI  MUKENYI
Wambai Mukenyi

Wambui Mukenyi — Founder of Wambui Mukenyi Fashion House

Asides being the CEO of Wambui Mukenyi Fashion House, Wambui is also the face of Bridal fashion in Kenya. Her journey began as an accountant in a fashion house but in 2009, having discovered her passion, she launched her own label. Wambui has a flair for creating beautiful feminine designs that flatter every body type. She has managed to pave her own path in the fashion industry in Kenya starting with a working capital of 40,000 shillings which she borrowed from a friend.

The Wambui Mukenyi label is a sought after brand with clientele that ranges from ordinary Kenyans to celebrity caucus. She recently launched another collection “Renaissance” which is doing pretty well in the market.

FAITH MANCINY MIGWI
Faith

Faith Manciny Migwi; Founder of The Urban Gentleman, on the runway with a model; Credit: RadekArtPhoto

Faith’s fashion journey has been very entrepreneurial, innovative and unusual. She started out by designing clutches and bags made from recycled plastic bags. Then she went into designing and delved into male fashion where she not only designs, but also shops and style men.

Check out her work on her website at The Urban Gentleman.

WAMBUI KIBUE
Wambui-Kibue1

Wambui Kibue – CEO Angelsmile House of Design

Ms Kibue’s love for fashion started at an early age. She loved wearing her mother’s shoes and accessories. But what inspired her most was the revolutionary fashion television show in the 90s; CNN’s Stylewith Elsa Klensch. Wambui says that although she has a degree in Fashion Desigining, her skills were honed when she worked for Monica Kanari — one of Kenya’s successful fashion designers.

Now with her own successful business, she has managed to win confidence of many local celebrities and is the designer behind the well-cut clothes and red carpet dresses of model Ajuma Nyasenyana, TV presenter Grace Msalame, celebrated film director Wanuri Kahiu, singer Sanaipei Tande and Muthoni “The Drummer Queen”, also a singer.

 IONA MCREATH
Iona Mcreath; CEO Kikoti

Iona Mcreath; CEO Kikoti

She is the daughter of legendary fashion designer Ann Mcreath of the famous Kiko Romeo brand. Iona’s fashion house, Kikoti has been in existence for two years now and she has had  personalities such as Nomuzi, Diana Opoti, Lupita Nyong’o and Wangechi wear her fun and funky designs.

LAURA LWALA
Laura Lwala; Founder, Pryde Artz.blogspot.com

Laura Lwala; Founder, Pryde Artz.blogspot.com

She is the face behind the brand Pryde Artz. She designs jewellery using beads and metal with her signature metal being brass and has had personalities such as Sharon Mundia and Cece Sagini dorn her pieces. The most refreshing thing about her work is that every no design is brand new and none looks like the other.

ROSELYN SHIYENZE
Roselyn-Shiyenze-Khasoha

Roselyn Shiyenze; Founder Shiyenze Fashion

Roselyn, 22, is the founder of Shiyenze Fashion – a richly African fashion line, genuinely inspired by the pinnacle of the diversity and beauty of our African culture. Three years ago when the line was launched, it started out as a jewellery store and with time it became a garment production label with the aim of moving into retail in the long run.

Roselyn scooped an award at the Jumia Kenya Glamour Awards as Emerging Menswear designer of the year and has featured her work at the Nairobi Fashion Market. She was a judge at this year’s Mr and Miss USIU beauty pageant. She dresses Larry Madowo on the hit show, The Trend. Shiyenze has two collections a year. The inspiration for each collection is drawn from Africa’s rich cultural lifestyles. The collections integrate African prints, silks, cotton and linens to create exceptional global appeal.

WILKINGS FADHILI
Wilkings-Odinga

Wilkings Odinga; CEO of the Fashion Torch Company; Credit: peter nutt’s photography

Wilkings is a 23 year old Fashion PR and CEO of the Fashion Torch Company. Wilkings started The Fashion Torch Company as a medium to connect fashion designers, models, stylists, buyers, investors and the consumers. Fashion, writing and networking are at the very top of Wilkings lifestyle.

He fancies himself an innovator of some kind. He is very experienced in fashion PR and he handles Kenyan Designers PR like Vaishali Morjalia (a very successful Fashion Designer in Kenya).

CHLOE MITCHELL
Chloe Mitchell

Chloe Mitchell, Founder of Drop a hat, granting an interview

England born Kenyan, Chloe Mitchell got off in fashion at a very early age. At the tender age of 21, the fashion designer has managed to get her hats to be showcased at Fashion High Tea and Samantha’s Bridal Fair. Most recently she made a hat for Lupita Nyongo’o, which she happily accepted at the Villa Rosa Kempinski dinner. Her brand ‘Drop of a Hat’ is a fast rising collection.

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