Jo Munnik had the chance to catch up and interview Nairobi based Diana Opoti at the concluded South African Fashion Week, on 1st April 2017. She talks about her personal sense of style, her two season campaign of 100 Days of African Fashion as well as her upcoming store , Designing Africa Collective.
"My job not only immerses me in different fashion and creative conversations and sectors but it is also culturally fulfilling."
Diana Opoti is one of the women in Africa who has continued to make a name for not only for herself, but also for African fashion through engagement with different designers and brands from across the continent.
"Did you know that fashion week in South Africa has been happening for 20 years"
Diana Opoti, a fashion influencer, blogger and PR guru, defines her role as a fashion influencer as one who uses her social net worth to influence people and inform them about different African brands. This involves creating different campaigns, and driving awareness through her personal style.
She is positively biased to African brands and fashion because of her stance and belief in wearing locally made outfits. She shared her journey with Jo and talked about her focus on African fashion in 2012 through a platform she created, Designing Africa which entailed her traveling across the continent to talk about different African fashion platforms as well as interviewing different designers. At that moment, she realized the main gap: which was creating a link between the designers and the everyday consumer.
In the interview, she also talked about her campaign, 100 Days of African Fashion seen on her Instagram here. The campaign was aimed at showing the versatility of African fashion. Every day for 100 days, the PR guru wore and shared on her social media platforms African made pieces. She was sure to highlight some of the blurred lines within African fashion, for example if one was a white designer based in an African country, would that qualify them to be an African designer, or if one was making clothes from contemporary fabric would that still count as an African designer among others.
She featured designers from Ethiopia, Ghana , South Africa , other African countries as well as the diaspora markets. She also touched on the fashion scene in Kenya, where she emphasized on the strong sense of personal style especially in the younger generation in the East African country. She talked about the growth of retail structure and the potential that Nairobi, the capital city holds in the fashion market.
“STYLE is a personal expression of who you are as a person and how you want other people to see you” Diana Opoti.
Check out more of the interview here: