Darling Runway Kenya By Couture Africa & Ajuma- RECAP
FASHION MEANS BUSINESS
Darling Runway Kenya; East Africa’s Biggest Fashion Showcase
Olive Gachara Of Couture Africa & International Fashion Icon Ajuma
DAY 1: FOR THE BUSINESS DESK
Friday 6th April saw the fashion, beauty and lifestyle industries come together through various workshops held at Two Rivers Mall and Sankara Nairobi as Day 1 of Darling Runway Kenya kicked off. These conversations were key in discussion the past present and future states of the industry with the vision of developing a strong creative economy. These workshops were open to the public and saw a wide array of youth attend – at no charge – to get much needed information on their industries, as well as network amongst each other.
The Hairnomics workshop hosted by Darling Kenya was a discussion on the future of hair in Kenya and featured Muli Musyoka [the First I.A.T Certified Trichologist in East and Central Africa], Maureen Murunga [Founder and CEO of Amadiva Beauty Salons], Wambui JL [Creativeprenuer and founder of Hairpolitan Lifestyle, Kenya’s First Natural Hair Lifestyle Magazine] and Moses Maina [committee member of the Hairdressers & Beauticians Association of Kenya] moderated by Carol Odero [Managing Editor, COUTURE Africa Magazine]. This conversation focused on the stylist-customer relationship and real life experiences of the same, with a strong emphasis on building trusting relationships with your hair stylist, as well as feeling free to give them challenges as they grow and hone their skills.
Talent Management Firm VAT [Value Added Talent] run the second workshop dubbed The African
Renaissance, where the audience got to listen to the Perspectives of New Age Kenyan Creatives on the Industry. These Kenyan Creatives were Art Director Brian Msafiri, Musical Artiste Karun Mungai, Photographer Dennis Kimutai, Visual Artiste Jebet Navaa and Fashion Designer Musa Omusi, moderated by Vlogger Sharon Machira. There was a strong focus on how the fashion and entertainment industries fuse and come together to create an even larger macroeconomic industry filled will young expressive talent.
The third workshop was focused on the Business of Fashion and saw a lively conversation between
creative directors and fashion designers Ogaki Mosomi and John Kaveke, IP, Sports, Entertainment, Media and Fashion Law specialist Sarah Ochwada, Commonwealth Fashion Council Representative in Kenya, Sheena Frida as well as Kawira Kiruja form the ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives facilitated by Carol Odero, and highlighte don the importance of mentorship for upcoming designers and players in the fashion industry as well as a need for increased professionalism amongst said players.
The Final workshop doubled as a media briefing and was dubbed the Industry Leaders Panel Discussion featuring Victoria Kieti-Chesire the Head of Marketing, Dry Hair, Godrej Kenya, Creative Director & Fashion Designers Deepa Dosaja and Akinyi Odongo – who is also the founder of Fashion Agenda Africa, Award Winning South African Designer Thula Sindi, Co-Founder and CEO of Vivo Wandia Gichuru and the Google country Manager Charles Murito, moderated by Olive Gachara the event brainchild and founder of COUTURE Africa Magazine. This very interesting dialogue narrowed down on the impact of technology on the fashion industry as well as the furtire and possibilities e-commerce provides to fashion designers.
This then culminated in an artistic cocktail launch of Darling Runway Kenya at the 2nd Floor Atrium at Sankara Hotel that was spilled with models in Black-Panther inspired hair courtesy of Darling Kenya and avant-garde male-up courtesy of Black|up.
For more information on any of these workshops, contact Carol Odero: [email protected], +254 720 899291
Mr. Hassan jiwani, Dr. Shazia Hassan (H&S Magazine) & Sanjaya Harihar (CFOO Strategic Fashion Consortium)- VIP Cocktail At The Sankara Lounge
DAY 2: FOR THE LIFESTYLE DESK
Saturday 7th April saw the largest fashion showcase take place at Two Rivers Mall. Darling Runway Kenya set-up three catwalks in different locations of the mall and had 7 runway shows take place across these three locations every hour on the hour from 12 noon to 6pm with a troop of 60 runway models and 15 high-fashion hostesses to guide the audience from location to location. Backstage was an operation on its own with 12 hairdressers courtesy of Darling Kenya ensuring a full hair change for all models between shows, as well as 22 make-up artistes from Black|Up cosmetics to glam-up the models. A total troop of up to 200 young creatives came together to make this event a reality with sponsorship from Darling Kenya under management of COUTURE Africa and Ajuma Ltd.
The first showcase was a conglomerate of upcoming fashion designers under the Fashion Agenda Africa Umbrella and included Igulsun Leather, PamOloo Couture, Frika Designs, Trendy B Fashion House, Kidosho Apparel, Zanta Adeyde, mambo Pambo, Ellen, Tafari and Lulu Creations who showcased 10 pieces each. This showcase run from 12n0on – 1pm and was closely followed by a 30-piece collection by Monica Kanari in her own independent showcase. This is the first-time in Kenya where designers have had an opportunity to showcase independently. Each designer had an exclusive one-hour slot to curate their own fashion experience, from hair and make-up to music and décor. The other designers who had an opportunity to showcase were Kiko Romeo, Mille Collines, Akinyi Odongo Kenya, Deepa Dosaja and Thula Sindi who came all the way from South Africa!
With an approximated 3,000 extra visitors per day at Two Rivers Mall during the two-event days, Darling Runway Kenya was indeed a flaming success. The mammoth audience, both invited and organic embraced this experience in full fashion as they rushed to book front-row seats in each location and consumed African Fashion via the designer pop-ups spread through the mall with most designers making on-the-spot sales after their fashion shows.
“The success of Darling Runway Kenya highlights and emphasises that there really is a demand for locally made fashion and accessories. Designers now need to make their clothes more readily available to the general public, and COUTURE Africa magazine is committed to helping them do just that. This event was just the first step” said Olive Gachara, Founder and Editor-In-Chief of COUTURE Africa Magazine.“We partnered with COUTURE Africa and Ajuma limited on this event because as a brand we recognise that the Kenyan consumer is becoming more fashion aware and hair is a fundamental part of this awareness. She demands quality hair products and accessories that keep her on the cutting edge of fashion. She has big dreams and is clear that her hair plays a huge role in helping her achieve these dreams.
Darling has become the go-to partner for this stylish woman and fuels her passion and aspirations,” said Victoria Kieti-Chesire, Head of Marketing, Dry Hair, Godrej Kenya..