Tribal Chic 2023 Fashion Experience
Tribe Hotel is a lifestyle property in the heart of the Diplomatic District that sets itself apart with atypical angles, and an unrivaled appreciation for tribal artifacts and all things creative. The hotel reflects Nairobi as the dynamic, trendy, and stylish city it is. Tribal Chic, the hotel’s annual fashion event, captures the diversity of the continent, a showcase for talent across Africa.
This year’s Show which was held on 4th Feb, the showcase celebrated sustainable fashion with a leading pool of talented local and international designers. The sustainability theme is driven by Tribe Hotel’s commitment to coexist on a single planet as one tribe, humankind. Funds raised at Tribal Chic 2023 were in support of Siafu Home.
The show featured the following designers:
Sors Studio was founded in Tehran, Iran in 2017 by Sara Amiri, Sepideh Kaviani, and Bahareh Rahmani. Given their academic and professional background, they have an architecture-oriented approach to fashion. Sors seeks to create clothes as spatial structures on the body by transforming two-dimensional surfaces into three-dimensional volumes. In its designs, Sors uses techniques like folding, tucking and pleating, as well as the common characteristics between architecture and fashion, such as double-skin facades and transparency. Sors’s sustainable approach in response to the environmental crisis complies with its use of geometric cuts such as stripes. This will result in using leftover fabrics and less waste.
Seamline Atelier is a Ugandan fashion brand that deals in ready-to-wear, bespoke, and avant-garde / costume outfits. Our brand is strongly built around our mission “to raise awareness towards the respect of social economical aspects of life through edu-fashion” and Vision “fashion as a voice; we re-imagine a world based on respect of human dignity and other aspects of life” where when creating designs, we base on inspirations, which help us to come up with unique and strong designs.
The brand was started in 2019 by Records Fashion School where it was given an opportunity to showcase at the French Embassy for the Uganda-France Friendship week by the school. In 2021 we released the “BACK TO OUR ROOTS” collection which was relying on the past to save the future. The first breakthrough design was an outfit inspired by a Rubik’s cube. The story behind it is one that is both heart-wrenching and uplifting. The piece was first showcased at FAVT [FUTURE AFRICA VISION IN TIME] exhibition at Makerere Art gallery in September (2019). This particular piece was also showcased at the Abryanz Fashionpreneur summit in October of the same year and caught the eyes of Talent Africa boss Ali Alibhai, who reached out to us.
As a fashion brand, this is as far as we have gone to educate the public on issues we feel affect society and we still look forward to using fashion as a voice to put a brick on making the world a better place.
Studio Namnyak is a 3D design studio born from a love of pattern making and a passion for innovating new ways to develop products while reducing waste in the process. Namnyak, the designer, believes that digital fashion is the future of the industry and hence every piece in this capsule has been designed, developed, patterned, and sampled digitally. This increases efficiency while reducing material, energy, and time wasted in the design process. This capsule is created for everyday people looking for comfort and character in everyday garments. The capsule is exclusive to the African Lifestyle Hub at Village Market and Sarit stores.
Deepa Dosaja is a pioneer in premium, sustainable fashion in Africa. The Deepa Dosaja label embodies beauty with a conscience. The brand only uses natural fabrics such as silk, bamboo, organic cotton, linens, and wool and is constantly looking for new innovative fabrics which have a low impact on the environment. The team at Deepa Dosaja prides itself in ensuring the highest levels of customer service and quality consciousness. Deepa Dosaja provides a bespoke made to measure service as well as an off-the-rack offering. The inspiration behind the brand’s work is drawn from nature and the abundance of colours therein as well as acceptance of an ethical obligation toward the environment. This is reflected in the brand’s designs using only natural fabrics and abstinence from using any harmful or environmentally unfriendly products. The Deepa Dosaja Boutique is a paradise of sinewy fabrics carrying a wide selection of the finest natural fabrics. Deepa Dosaja also exclusively designs its own line of luxurious stretch silk prints.
AULGAH NATO is a multi-award winning fashion brand, which creates womenswear, and bridal and recently introduced ready-to-wear collections. Nato has become one of Africa’s foremost fashion labels, constantly raising the bar with each collection, Nato is dedicated to elevating the Kenyan fashion industry through its vision of delivering the best for the woman that embraces all aspects of femininity, sophistication, and elegant ease. The spirit of the AULGAH NATO brand echoes the personal style of Aulgah’s late mother, Her worldly travels and passion for vintage has played an integral role in shaping her design style and aesthetic into what it is today. Known today for their unique creations that celebrate a woman’s curves with the aim of making her feel confident and beautiful with the tag name ‘shape of you. Designed and inspired by the powerful and assertive woman, the NATO WOMAN THE IT GIRL collection adds a new perspective to the glamorous yet functional look. Graceful, and Elegant. Shop the perfect dress for any occasion, from short to midi to maxi in a range of materials and prints from crepe to African, embroidered to cotton.
Katush: The influences and experiences of Katungulu Mwendwa’s upbringing primed her for a career in design. Born to a bass-playing architect and a plant-loving psychologist, she spent school holidays in her grandmother’s curio shop in Nairobi, where she first became familiar with artisan collectives like eastern Kenya’s Akamba group, suppliers of some of the store’s unique trinkets at the time. Katush is an everyday superhero — a conscious, ethical, sustainable, and compassionate leisure lifestyle brand, made in Africa for the confident, reflective, self-aware global citizen who values quality, versatility, and sustainability in original design. More recently, the brand was selected as one of five winners in the 2019 Lagos Fashion Week Fashion Focus program and is one of 3 Kenyan fashion businesses selected for the second cohort of the Ethical Fashion Initiative’s Designer Accelerator in 2021. Every collection starts with that curiosity, a lens through which the continent’s rich and inspiring heritage is explored and framed. The subject settled on is swept into Katush’s considered process, carried through as prints and design features on simple, contemporary silhouettes that embody modern ease. A skilled community of makers brings each piece to life in Kenya, keeping traditional craftwork alive and training in any technique needed to tell a season’s story. We choose an ethical, slow fashion practice to create a genderless, seasonless, versatile wardrobe that truly serves the wearer.
Vinkay Clothing is a Nigerian brand that promotes African culture and African aesthetics through fashion, with the act of illustrating African icons, artifacts, and deities on attires to showcase our rich culture to the world.
“Wildlife Works was founded with a mission to protect biodiversity and partner with local communities.” Through fashion, our apparel brand enables us to create awareness about conservation, as well as increase income streams for people living alongside wildlife in Tsavo. Our work is focused on sustainable market-based solutions to otherwise environmentally destructive practices such as poaching & deforestation. We hope you’ll join us on our journey of conscious consumerism and help bring about meaningful change to our planet. The designer, Yugala Priti, has been working in a sustainable fashion for over 20 years. Her style is inspired by a love for prints and textiles created by artisans across Africa. This inspiration is reflected in the modern silhouettes created by the Wildlife Works team today.”
Kikoromeo: A heritage brand, widely credited with transforming fashion in Kenya and mentoring many designers and artisans over the last two decades, KikoRomeo meaning “Adam’s Apple” in Kiswahili, was founded in 1996. Transcending cultures and fashion trends, KikoRomeo puts sustainability at its core, striving to create longevity in each garment by using handmade and hand-dyed fabrics as well as hand-carved trims, sourced from the African continent. Their fabrics come mainly from natural fibers including cotton, linens, and silk, as well as explorations into alternative fibers such as those derived from sisal and orange peel. KikoRomeo’s silhouettes are effortlessly elegant, and with attention to detail, they are treasured as works of art by all those who wear them. Iona McCreath was appointed Creative Director of KikoRomeo in 2018, taking over from her mother Christine-Ann McCreath who founded the brand. Having grown up as a lifelong apprentice, Iona ventured into fashion quite early, starting her own brand as a subsidiary of KikoRomeo in 2013 at the age of 17. Following this, she went on to study for a foundation degree in Art and Fashion Design from UAL’s Central Saint Martin’s followed by pursuing a BSc in Sociology from LSE.
Iona’s approach to the brand looks into material innovation, researching and developing ways to create new textiles that are informed by our contexts. Whether be this the design that is applied to the textile, or the materials which make up the textile. In her design application under KikoRomeo, she looks to reinterpret classic KikoRomeo silhouettes with a contemporary lens.
We Are NBO is a handmade jewelry brand based in Nairobi. Our artisans are talented and highly skilled, using heritage craft to make contemporary, covetable jewelry. They creatively upcycle their tools, using reworked water pumps as sanding benches and denim off-cuts as buffing wheels. We work with mostly recycled and upcycled tools and materials salvaged from the waste stream, such as recycled brass, wood, and bone; our pieces are 24k gold plated. We consider our pieces to be a dialogue between the artisan and our designer, Michael Nguthu, who has leveraged his experience working for international brands to create organic, felt jewelry pieces that tell a story of joy, resilience, community, and ingenuity.
Koki Designs was founded in 2009 with the desire to honor cultural heritage, all the while encouraging sustainability in fashion. In this mindset, Kokeb Zemed Pinard welcomes you as she unveils the spectacle of her new collection, Temesgen, curated for Tribal Chic 2023 on February 4th. The theme is Sustainable Fashion, Kokeb shines the spotlight on upcycled fabric. The fabric was meant to be shredded as part of the fast fashion massive destruction of fabrics and clothes. Here it is, reinvented and recreated. Kokeb’s main inspiration while designing this partly black-and-white collection is harmony, that of nature but also that which comes from tastefully associating precious Ethiopian hand-woven fabrics with upcycled material. Orchid and insect prints, tropical colors, creme, and pastel hues, the diversity showcased by Kokeb is an ode to the living world. The name of this mellifluous collection is Temesgen, which, in Amharic, expresses gratitude towards God. This collection is an homage to one of his most beautiful creations, nature.
Mariam Couture, founded in July 2019 is a sustainable fashion brand that employs and empowers both men and women. We’re deeply devoted to quality and equality – both in the products we make and the quality of life we aim to provide. We invest in a train and educating our employees so they can earn a better living by providing decent wages benefiting the livelihoods of our employees and creating a comfortable working environment at our workshop that runs on renewable energy and thrive whilst helping conscious consumers feel uplifted in high-quality, limited-edition designs that help support the livelihood of our local artisans. Mariam Couture started off as a clothing brand suited for the Coastal market only. However, we have since adapted other cultural styles such as Western and Eastern clothing giving a full collection of designs suitable for all; by fusing modern designs to create inspired, unique pieces each that tells a story of culture. An integral part of our design philosophy evolves around zero-waste design production, where we make garments that are timeless, desirable, and of high quality to last a lifetime. In our making process, we use left-over pieces and dead stock fabrics as patchworks giving a second life to the fabric, and sparing the remaining materials from being sent to landfills. This sustainable practice allows us to refresh our prints often and provide our fashion-conscious customers with unique styles. We design collections that are narratives of nature, culture, and people through travels inspired by the charms of coastal shores that reflect the blues and sandy colors of the water and beach with bright colors; coral, and vivid greens. Our brand vision ‘Exclusivity without Boundaries’ aligns favorably with the designs we create that are unique, seasonal, capsule collections that are timeless. Moving away from temporary trends, yet still caters to all cultures, races, religions, genders, ages, body shapes, and sizes, who appreciate a luxury lifestyle with high-quality fashion and sustainable designs. We use ethnically inspired fabrics such as hand-block printed cotton, linen, and silk that creates a cultural connection and evoke elegance. Most of them are sourced from Europe, India, and a few locally that meet our standard criteria. Then they are hand cut and stitched paying close attention to details.
Shenu Hooda is a renowned Kenyan fashion designer, her work showcases a fusion of Middle Eastern and African designs. She has been in the industry for 15 years and has taken part in various fashion events such as Swahili Fashion Week, three consecutive fashion high teas, and hosted charity events with celebrities such as Micheal Jordan’s mother. Many Kenyan celebrities such as Ian Mbugua and Lillian Muli have hosted her on their famous tv show ‘Fashion Watch’ on Citizen. Shenu Hooda has also won multiple awards, from East FM fashion designer of the year to TAWAA awards best fashion designer. From casual to bridal, Shenu has mastered it all. Her main talent is designing custom-made outfits. Shenu has 3 stores in Kenya, one at General Mathenge, another at Two Rivers mall, and also one on Limuru road, Parklands.
Lakira: AFRICAN INSPIRED JEWELRY Women have worn beads ‘since time began in ritual and ceremonies, for beautification, healing purposes, for their happiness.’ We are passionate about beads, traditional semiprecious stones, and our heritage. We, ‘LAKIRA’ want to carry on the tradition for centuries of creating jewelry from beads, stones, and other ethnic African materials; jewelry that accentuates your personality and heritage.
Here are some Sharing Moments with Go Places – Some of the designs showcased at the fashion show:
Sharing the moments with some of the guests that attended:
Presentation of prices:
Photos by Kybe Photography
The Tribal Chic 2023 Flipbook