JW Fashion Show is one of Kenya’s most attended fashion event. This year I decided that I too will be part of the people that attend , and it being my birthday on the 26th of November 2016, I decided to kill one bird with two stones as they say.
One of the reasons behind my intrigue of the event was the social media hype that revolved around it. Almost every day I would see a post on my Instagram timeline about the event, and I would think to myself, this show will be ”lit” as they say these days to mean ”on fire”. Personalities and individuals were heavily endorsing the event and this led to the creator of the fashion extravaganza , Jefferey Wilson.
(The post contains images that I took during this year’s instalment of the JW Fashion Show)
The fashion scene in Kenya is not so big , but I had never met Jefferey Wilson before and I was more intrigued to find out about this young man that had made a name for himself and his event in the country. After contacting Jeffrey Wilson (JW) this was our conversation, about the JW Fashion Show, Fashion in Kenya and so much more.
This year the following designers and brands were showcasing: Roma Designs , El Afrique, Owino Akinyi, Kai Fashions , KM Creations , House of SG , Kilimall, Amol Designs.
Tell us about the JW Fashion Show and how you came up with the idea
The JW Show is about connecting Africa and the world through fabric and designs, mostly through appreciating local brands, local products as far as fashion is concerned. The main reason behind the show, was to try and help local designers be appreciated and their hard work recognised, as well as providing them with a platform to showcase their products without a charge for participating. As an organization we provide free mentorships, marketing and showcasing.
So far so good, we have done JW Show county tours to talk to designers, and we have selected the best to participate in the final show. This year’s show is the 3rd instalment, we started with a small crowd which we have seen grow and become recognized in almost all counties in Kenya, which we are grateful for, it’s been a very rough journey. We have also got the chance to work with big brands like Infinix Kenya, as well as individuals who understand the concept without much explanations.
Hahahahaha NO, this was not even my field or something that I wanted to do, but when I joined the fashion business, so many ideas came to mind that I was literally bursting off the seams. I saw the need to help people the creatives like me get appreciated where they do not. Most creatives are being misused, mislead then ditched. Sadly, it’s a game for the fit, you have to fight hard for you to make it in the industry not only locally but internationally as well.
What are your thoughts on the fashion industry and fashion scene in Kenya ?
The Kenyan fashion industry is really coming along well, so well that if we all unite will walk under one theme and have our identity. We don’t have our identity, if you travel abroad we only use maasai wear, we are not all maasai, we are Kenyans, that’s what as industry players can sit down and fix. As far as fashion scene is concerned, it is amazing, even people who don’t know what fashion is nowadays are trying to be in the loop, with good dressing, and knowing trends.
This year, we have a lot in store, from event management, event set up, and the event entourage. We have amazing designers and top models that will be strutting on the runway under the theme #MADEINKENYABYKENYANS. I intend to fight till the end, to help everyone, all the people that are being dumped or mislead I intend to give them hope, we will work with them until we ensure that they too are noticed and are recognized as brands in the industry. I believe that the fashion realm is wide and we can all fit.