Creative Crisis in the Kenyan Fashion Industry
THE FASHION INDUSTRY is one of the most visible industries, yet it is one of the most overlooked cultural sectors in the country.
It’s visible in the sense that, everywhere one goes, there is a fashion statement – some angry, some extreme and some incoherent. From malls to flea markets, from roadside stalls to the internet, fashion seems to be getting increasingly prominent.
The local market now understands the power of fashion and fashion statements, and that is evident from the number charity-themed fashion events that have been held in past.
The glitz, the glamour and the flashing lights have blinded the fashion trends and fads market. Fashion statements are often both influential and philosophy-laden, so they should be taken seriously, analysed and challenged.
It doesn’t take a fashion designer to understand that fashion statements intend to send a message, even though this has never mattered for the Kenyan market.
Still, the content of the messages is an increasingly important component of the state of a growing culture.
As much as it hasn’t fully grown as an industry, fashion in Kenya is shaping popular culture, driving much of the local urban narrative.