Branding guru and replay254’s fashion writer, Eli Chep coupled with Blog Correspondent, Eve Chege, met up with the designers and report on the Kenyan fashion trends spotted at last weekend’s recent charity fashion event at the Tribe Hotel
The Tribal Chic fashion show was launched by the Tribe Hotel in 2009, at a time when Nairobi lacked a fashion week to showcase designs & conceived as a bridge between fashion lovers and various charity organizations requiring much-needed support and visibility. And right from inception, they have sold out every show, channeling all events proceeds to charity. This, according to Tribe Hotel, is a means of linking charity to entertainment. In promoting “tribal chic” fashion, they are embracing the hotel’s belief, “One planet, One Tribe.”
Tribal Chic has grown to become one of the biggest fashion events on the East African calendar, attracting fashion enthusiasts from around the world, Nairobi’s socialites and philanthropists, and the local and international press. From a long list of designers applying to showcase on the glamorous Tribe Hotel catwalk, the showcase focused on six designers, and most applicants are weeded out because the Tribe sacrifices breadth for depth when exploring a designer’s fashion.
This year’s contestants were Adele Dejak, Mille Collines, Niku Singh, Nike Kondakis, Penny Winter, and Sheila Amolo. Collines works with Rwandese craftsmen and owns an outlet in Village Market, while Kondakis is known for creating garments from recycled parachutes — to not only make vibrant dresses, but also light, easy foldable, and fast drying ones.
This year’s annual charity event, Tribal Chic at Tribe Hotel, Nairobi was simply brilliant. From light, playful and summery to young and edgy. There was something in this show for every bodies taste.
However, one uniting front at the runway show was the beautiful fact that Nike Kondakis and Adele Dejak stood out with their contemporary collections that included a lot of cultural diversity.
Designer Nike Kondakis, renowned for her pieces made from recycled material, featured her collection that resembled knitwear made from recycled garments. Niku Singh featured his statement jewelry pieces made from different various metals. Penny Winter featured light garments with a playful twist Ideal for summer. We also got to see Adele Dejak, celebrated for her bold accessory pieces. Mille Collines gave us a real treat with their Young, cool and edgy collection which I found reminiscent of UK clothing line, All Saints. Sheila Amolo gave us a breath of fresh air with her light garments with bold colors and print.
In an interview with replay254 last Saturday at the event, the head of marketing said, “The designs have to stand out, represent Kenya, use unique materials, be innovative, and the designer cannot exhibit the same designs in subsequent shows.”An additional requirement is to incorporate corporate social responsibility (CSR), which includes giving back to the community or cultivating environmental best practices. Thereby, proceeds from the fashion show were in aid of Sasa Designs by the Deaf.
Generally, the event ambience had fashion designers managing their own display booth which not only served as spaces for closing clothes and jewelry sales, but also venues for guests to interact one on one with the designers. Guests were served with the finest wines, including Moet and Chandon, as the JIKO catering team tickled taste buds, with the sweetest and most delicious pastries and canapés. Guests too were able to purchase the designs on the spot at the designers lounge near the Kaya Spa.
Feast your eyes on some pieces from this year’s Tribal Chic catwalk!