Interview: Franklin Saiyalel – aka Kenyan Stylista

Frankie StylistaFranklin Saiyalel is killing it.  At the age of just 24, he’s built himself a blogging platform that showcases his own unique style while picking out the newest fashion trends.  Frankie’s blog – kenyanstylista – has established his reputation as Kenya’s leading fashion blogger and his influence among Nairobi’s young & hip crowds has turned the heads of fashion bigwigs.

As FA254 begins its search for emerging young African designers, we caught up with Frankie for a chat.  He shares his tips on how to stay up to date with the latest fashion, and tells us why he’s been walking the streets of Nairobi with a walking stick lately.


What’s the secret to identifying new trends before everybody else?

Personally I would say being on track with the pop culture – music videos, fashion and different world cultures has been my guide to daily dressing.  I pull it off well by incorporating it all, plus another factor that completes the look is sticking to my theme: modern with a touch of the 80’s.  I am also open to trying new stuff.

Are there any items of clothing you’ve really been enjoying wearing lately? 

Lately I have been enjoying wearing Gaucho hats and buying walking sticks.  there is something about wearing a Gaucho that makes you feel like ‘the man’.  A lot of people get so fascinated with my walking sticks, it is just a fashion statement.  I actually got one because of Scott Disick.  (laughs.)  Accessories help complete the outfit.

Frankie Stylista 3What’s the difference between putting an outfit together yourself and having a stylist help you?

I never have challenges putting an outfit together in fact I enjoy doing so to see how creative I can get. The only time I may need a stylist is perhaps to see how best we can make our magic work together to come up with a masterpiece 🙂

If you weren’t doing a blog about fashion and style, what would you be blogging about?

Food.  I love taking pictures of food, food presentation to be exact.  The way the chef places the food on the plate is art.  I enjoying taking such photos. If not food, I would do a travel blog, focusing on buildings, holiday destinations, well-designed rooms – you know, the stuff that makes people get jealous.  (laughs)

What is unique about Kenyan fashion?

People have their own style in Kenya.  Not everyone here sticks to trends or what is in season.  When you walk down the street you see everyone has their own way of dressing up or pulling of a look.  Kenya is actually getting there, there’s a lot of talent out here.   It’s totally worth checking out what Kenya can offer!


FA254 is launching African Designers for Tomorrow – the first international platform to give emerging African designers a door to the European market.  For more information, click here.