Issue 7, March 2018
JW: The Fash ion in d u s tr y i s o n t he ri ght t ra c k What exactly do you do? I am the founder of JW show, where we work with designers, judges, moderators and of course the audience. We work under one theme which is “Made in Kenya by Kenyans”. We help local designers build their brands. The show gives them a platform to interact and sell their products. The judges also help to highlight some of the shortfalls and gives expert advice. This is an annual show. We usually start touring the country at the beginning of the year, visiting counties, identifying the designers, models, photographers and bringing them together. We put them under a mentorship programme working with various brands and individuals. We are planning to go beyond Kenya. JW aims to connect Africa with the world. What is your unique selling point?
eet Jeffery Wilson, the man behind the sizzling JW Fashion Show, a show that brings together designers, judges, moderators and all fashion stakeholders to celebrate Kenya’s Fashion industry with a tagline “Made in Kenya by Kenyans”. He is also known for his unique, diverse and tantalizing fashion sense that has brought freshness in the Kenyan Fashion industry.
of years, we will have established a strong Kenyan fashion brand to reckon with.
Read about this fashionista in the following interview excerpts:
I stared out in 2012, doing artist management, Fashion PR and modelling at the same time. I later grew in to events and fashion designer.
How would you describe the fashion industry in Kenya? Kenya’s fashion industry is growing fast. We now have vibrant creativity around and more people have started appreciating and embracing fashion. There are bountiful opportunities available in the industry too, with more brands coming on board to support the industry. We have come from far as a sector. But we have also made significant strides and we tread with optimism that that in a couple
This will however require concerted efforts and collaboration from all stakeholders because what ails most currently is that we don’t embrace the power of partnerships. When did you venture in the industry and what was your greatest motivation?
JW Show is 100% devoted to supporting the Kenyan fashion industry. We strictly insist that guests wear Made in Kenya brands during the shows. This has given as a competitive edge. What challenges/gaps hinder the growth of the fashion industry? One of the biggest challenges we face is lack of support from some established brands, as well as lack of collaborations amongst ourselves.
I modelled for a bit before starting my own brand. I even did an advert for Nivea. We would sometimes stage modelling shows but not get paid at all. This motivated me to do something more for the industry. Through my interactions with people and feeling the need to bridge that gap, we started JW Show with my partners.
A model donned in African wear during one of the JW Fashion Show
Issue 7, March 2018
WEEKLY BULLETIN There is an unhealthy competition where everyone concentrates on themselves, which is ok, but how about exploring partnerships for the sake of the entire sector? Are we on the right track as a country as far as growing this industry is concerned? I would say we are, but more could be done. We need workshops to educate people more and create
more hype around this industry that employs many. Especially the upcoming creatives need to be guided. More forums especially for upcoming creatives will be ideal platforms to enable interactions and networking
because the industry is dynamic and fashion trends are always changing. This is also because consumers are always looking out for something fresh and different.
What would be your best advice to upcoming fashion designers? They should be ready to go extra miles and think outside the box
B ran d K e nya launches F a s h io n Fr ida y
rand Kenya Board has launched a campaign dubbed Fashion Friday in the spirit of promoting Kenyan fashion brands in the formal weekday wear.
The Kenyan fashion industry has evolved over time from cultural functional clothing of our ancestors to urban styles that incorporate individual tastes and styles.
Fashion Friday calls upon everyone to wear something that makes them feel uniquely Kenyan and at the same time celebrate the Kenyan heritage.
As such, Kenyan textile manufacturers, designers, stylists and models have upped their game in efforts to put their best foot forward and grow the industry. Shoes, handbags, clothes and fashion accessories now come in different styles, colours and tastes.
“Friday is usually a dress-down in most organizations. We would like to rally Kenyans to don Kenyan brands and in so doing promote our local designers and at the same time, unite and feel ‘Kenyanese’,” said Brand Kenya Board CEO Mary Luseka.
employees wear Kenyan fashion brands. This will not only make us stand out as proud Kenyans but will also promote local brands, “ CEO added.
“There is a need to preserve our heritage. We would like to appeal to every organization to embrace the Fashion Friday concept and let
Siginon group staff taking up Brand Kenya’s Fashion friday challenge on twitter
Brand Kenya’s Board CEO Mary Luseka dressed by Kenyan designers. Blazer by @VivienneTaa Hand bag by @riftafrica
THE TEAM Mary Luseka - CEO , Brand Kenya Board Maureen Mambo - Editor-in-Chief / Contributor
Daniel Nzonzo - Stakeholder Liaison Joanne Wanjala- Editor / Writer
Brand Kenya’s Board staff taking up Fashion Friday challenge
Joyce Macharia - Contributor Samuel Njaaga- Design and layout
Bessy Kajuju- Writer
A publication by the Brand Kenya Board