By Lizbeth Kariuki
As the Kenyan fashion industry steadily grows, there is a movement mainly pushed by Kenyan business entrepreneurs and fashion designers to keep creating "fashion week's," to publicize the creativity of local designers. At least, so I would like to believe. From "Nairobi Fashion Week" to "Swahili Fashion Week" to "Strut-it-Afrika Fashion Week" and even "Kenya Fashion Week," you name it.
The talent is there no doubt, and designers flock to showcase their designs during any of these fashion week events. However, I believe these fashion week events are turning into money-making venture's and that is it. Rather than pushing forward the Kenyan fashion industry to the point where there will be one Kenyan fashion week that global designers, celebrities and media will dream to attend, it looks like it will be a long time until we get there. I mean, if you think about it, Kenya has all the elements that could make for a stunning global fashion week. With our various national parks, ideas could range from holding a fashion show in the wild to holding a spectacular one at the coast (thinking along the lines of Milan fashion week).
What we have now in the industry is an entrepreneur in the fashion industry will organize for a fashion week event, for probably 3 days at most and ensure a couple of designers exhibit, put a large price tag on the main fashion show ticket and the show does not even "wow."
Case in point, the recently held Kenya Worldwide Fashion Week, struck the wrong cord with guests who paid Ksh8500 to attend. The event was created by Sonu Sharma of Just Like That Ltd. who was also the brains behind Trendz Kenya Fashion Week. One unhappy guest posted this and received some support for raising this issue:
"Just got home from attending the Kenya Worldwide Fashion Week event at The Tribe. Unfortunately another disappointing event. Ok, yes, it rained and that put a damper on the evening....but apparently the organizers felt that it couldn't possibly rain (despite the fact that it has been raining every day for about a week now) because they clearly didn't have a Plan B. So, we started about 90 minutes late with no announcements about what we should expect in the meantime. Then when it does start, there were not enough seats for those of us who shelled out 8500 Ksh....and there was NO control over prohibiting those who did not pay for a ticket to just waltz in and take seats from those of us who paid. I was seriously rooting for a model to slip on the runway and fall into the pool (without getting hurt) just to liven up the event. And why in the world would you have each model do two turns on the runway for every outfit when time was clearly not on your side? It was boring and mundane and sucked the life out of the crowd. There were definitely some nice designs on display....but all of the event's shortcomings overshadowed their beauty. We needed to be captivated and excited and inspired. Instead we were just cold, wet and tired."
It takes a lot to me a whole fashion week interesting and captivating, as this will also help sustain and possibly grow it's audience in future. It does not make sense to only hold one for the sake of making money.
Thanks for stopping by Fab One's.