BY EVE CHEGE
Thanks to her distinct hairstyle and looks, the beautiful Kenyan born Anne Mpinga, always appears edgy. Multi-talented, Anne is always on the steady trend making a name for her clothing brand ‘Kipusa’ and herself as well, both at home and abroad.
‘Kipusa’ is a Swahili word that means ‘beautiful young lady’. Founded in May 2011 by Mpinga (former media professional), Kipusa is an African fashion brand that resonates with women of all shapes and sizes, adorning their curves flawlessly in beautiful, vibrant garments.
‘She is Nairobi’ is Kipusa’s fourth collection which is a part of an extensive #SheIsNairobi online campaign in celebration of inspiring female movers and shakers who are changing the face of Kenya’s largest and most populous city. And Mpinga is in every sense a Nairobi girl herself!
#SheIsNairobi represents real Nairobi women tagged from intellectuals, entrepreneurs, creatives, volunteers to wage earners. What they share in common is that each is making a difference to this city in their different spheres of work and lifestyle.
The campaign features 12 of Nairobi’s female residents featured modeling pieces from Kipusa’s new fashion range. The women in the campaign include Yvonne Adhiambo (Writer), Wanjiru Gichaga (Pilot), Nadia Wanjiru (Artist), Bidanya Barasa (Lifestyle Advocate & Marketing Consultant), Aprelle Duany (Creative Director), Mugethi Gitau (Professional Geek), Annabel Onyango (Fashion Stylist & Cultural Influencer), Mumbi Mbugua (Musician & Economist), Marie Lora-Mungai (Media Entrepreneur), Connie Aluoch (Image Consultant & Fashion Stylist), Januska Dawood (Branding Expert) and eventually, Anne Mpinga (Fashion Designer).
The collection highlights outfits that are colourful, feminine and delicate. The prints define an immense element of Kipusa’s identity and eventually flattering all body shapes. All the gorgeous women were photographed by Mia Collis and their stories inscribed by journalist, Cynara Vetch. Kipusa aims to bring radiance to fabulous Nairobian women in a fashion light under the hashtag #SheIsNairobi.
Mpinga says the core of her brand is balance – Kipusa strikes a balance between meeting needs of the curvy and the slim. She asks, “What’s the point of making beautiful clothes for one size and when it comes to other sizes you water it down?” and points to various plus-size sections in clothing stores where less attention has been given to designs.
Anne’s ultimate goal is to see women coming to life because of something she’s made. Mpinga’s biggest fashion influence is her mother, whom she says has always been a good dresser. As a young girl, she would steal her mother’s sewing kit to make new dresses for her dolls.
“My style is chic, funk, classic and simple. It is everyday wear and I put a lot of emphasis on dressing ordinary African women. My key element is how to cover the female body while accentuating outstanding features using earthy African fabric especially prints. I like our body types and curves,” Mpinga adds.
Ultimately though what Anne sees in Nairobi is possibility “This is the place you can start anything. You could decide you want to launch a rocket and you can do it in Nairobi.”
Check out Kipusa’s beautiful designs and fabrics: http://www.kipusaclothing.com