I first met Shiyenze on campus around last Summer and she was organizing a fashion forum for the fashion club. She spoke about her work and it was very obvious that she loves what she does. I got intrigued and did a little research on her and her brand, I was astonished by all the progress and strong work ethic that she had in creating and positioning herself in the industry. For the new readers and those that do not know, my blog is more than "What I Wore", I want to provide a voice and be an extra source of information when it comes to not only Kenyan but African fashion brands and personalities. Shiyenze Khasoha of Shiyenze Fashion is one of those brands that I believe in. Read on to understand more about her brand and her journey.
- Tell us about Shiyenze Fashion?
Shiyenze is a Kenyan fashion label based in Nairobi, founded by Khasoha Shiyenze; a Kenyan entrepreneur and belle of the fashion world.
Founded in June 23rd 2013, this fashion line has enchanted the reflective hearts of overwhelming numbers around the country.
It is richly African and genuinely inspired.
Shiyenze fashion line is bent on leading the way in creative story telling through the much celebrated and steeply beloved modes of excellent dressing.
The name ‘Shiyenze’ has its origin in the Luyha language of a Kenyan tribe (community) and means adorable, appreciated or attractive to people.
Such is the heart of the brand as stated by Shiyenze , who goes to great lengths to ensure that each of her designs carry an expression or feeling as it maintains its unique cultural attribute.
Mkhana, Mrembo and Binti form part of her classic collection and stand out with vitality and dynamism.
Shiyenze has two collections a year. Our heartfelt inspiration for each collection is drawn from Africa’s rich cultural lifestyles. The collections integrate African prints, silks, cotton and linens to create collections with exceptional global appeal. Our vision is to be a leading fashion hub globally.
- Tell us in brief about the journey from the conception of Shiyenze Fashion and where Shiyenze Fashion is today as a brand?
In late 2012, I had a great desire to venture into the fashion industry as a designer having had a stint on the runway as a model. However, the capital needed was beyond my ability. I therefore decided to start out as a jeweller. I had Ksh250 (USD 2.50) , which I used to buy some beads and made my first jewellery – a necklace. The jewellery I made sold almost immediately and within no time I was getting orders from friends and even strangers who inquired about a piece I was wearing and I would proudly tell them I can make them one
- What are some of the tips and pieces of advice you would give to a young designer out there?
Be authentic and consistent.
- Congratulations on your new collection, FURAHA. Tell us why this was important for you as a designer and as a brand?
Furaha is a Swahili world that connotes happiness. It’s a story of boldness, stepping out of your comfort zone
- Most local designers claim that all the other bits that come with being a brand like social media and marketing provide a form of challenge for them. Is this something that you experience? (If yes how do you cope with it)
Creative brands require keen attention on what goes out to the media. From well edited photos to great diction. Art in itself is all about detail, having someone that understands and has caught the brand vision well is an honor. I have an incredible social media team and marketing team.
- Was fashion and design something that you had always wanted to do?
I can’t clearly tell how I ended up in Fashion, but from a tender age I was a creative.
- What are some of the highlights so far?
….. Ahem. New York remains a great step, 2016 we did a Style presentation but 2017 here we are!! You can check out my runway on Feb 11 2017. (Winter collection, one of my maiden work)
My Personal growth as a designer...
There is also the Vaa Shiyenze project which you can follow up on, on our Instagram page
- What is in the future for both Shiyenze the brand and Shiyenze the person?
Look out for a Shiyenze in a fashion store near you. I look forward to retailing and providing great quality and unique designs.
SOCIAL MEDIA AND CONTACT INFORMATION
Instagram : www.instagram.com/shiyenzefashion
Facebook : Shiyenze Fashion
Phone Number: +254700651964