A Burst of Creativity: Jambo Fashion Affair

On the sixth and seventh of July, Tanzania’s most promising designers came together in the city of Arusha. With Kelly Konings (NL, previously H&M Group, Won Hundred and Viktor&Rolf) standing behind this years “Explore Creativity” gathering; she connected with seven of the most creative heads, to dig deeper into their creativity and to explore where it could take the Tanzanian Fashion Industry. In addition to discussing the current and the future state of the Industry, ¬†a runway event combined with a lookbook shoot, and a two-day pop-up store, hosted for a selection of brands made in the country.
Just like Fashion Africa 254, Jambo fashion Affair, shares the vision and the mission to embrace, empower and support African Fashion Talents, and to encourage a sustainable Fashion Industry.

Shining a light on the top made in Tanzania Designers, Kelly Konings introduces them to us.

Lumiere – designed by Honest Nyamai
“Honest debuted his first collection this year at the Jambo Fashion Affair in Arusha, Tanzania. Having worked alongside Mustafa Hassanali at the Swahili Fashion Week, Honest is dedicated to building his own design name. Spending his time in between Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam, he is inspired by the eclectic urban mix of people, cultures and the bright city lights. His silhouettes are derived from streetwear, and his use of colour and print is very bold as he is very in tune with the young in-crowd.”

Nyumbani – designed by Ana Joseph
“A newcomer in the field of fashion design is Ana. She debuted her knitwear pieces from her first collection at the Jambo Fashion Affair in Arusha this year. Ana works from her elderly home in Arusha, thereof the name Nyumbani (Swahili for home). She learned how to knit from YouTube videos, studying them for hours. She is determined to make her name in the field of design with her original knits. Bright colours and open-knit structures combined to make body-hugging shapes with graphic colour blocks.”

Kisusi – designed by Emmanuel Kisusi
“A menswear label influenced by the Zanzibar lifestyle, colours and architecture. Emmanuel has a natural sense of good taste, and his humble personality and soft-spoken voice only add to the soft elegance of his menswear line. Emmanuel is a designer that takes inspiration from his African heritage and makes it into something new, modern and timeless.”

Kidato – designed by Aline Wamishi
“Aline is a master of draping fabric into new silhouettes, her pleating and ruffle techniques make for a fun, playful and feminine look. Her favourite material is kitenge printed fabric, where the luxurious amount of fabric used for the design makes anyone want to twirl around in it.
It is her excellent tailoring skills and feminine touch that set her apart from other designers working with the traditional kitenge fabric.”

Chuwa Fashion – designed by Amadeus Chuwa
“Arusha based designer Amadeus takes his inspiration from his direct surroundings of the foothills of the Kilimanjaro. He combines technical details derived from outerwear and re-imagines this in new shapes and silhouettes, all made by himself in his favourite kitenge fabrics. Trained as a tailor, he is experienced in making classic shapes feel fresh and modern.”

Florinyah Chrocheted – designed by Flora Kawa
“Flora takes her inspiration from nature and natural shapes. Her crocheted jewellery is all hand made by herself, and they are designed organically, combining shapes and colours as she goes. A perfectionist in everything she does, her eye for detail is exquisite. Flora has such a passion for what she does, that she is an inspiration for everyone around her, also being a mentor for other young designers.”

Mkwanduleson – designed by Kulwa Mkwandule
“With a larger than life personality, Kulwa loves the spotlight. His energetic designs are made intuitive and with such a strong understanding of fabric and colour. They are unique, well made and original, Kulwa loves the unexpected and is a hands-on Designer in every expect of the design process. His love for handwork and traditional techniques, combined with fun and surprising silhouettes make him one of the designers that will push Tanzania’s fashion industry forward.”

During the panel discussion, all of these exceptionally talented Designers agree, that getting the right fabrics and materials, and experimenting with them in shapes and silhouettes is the most challenging obstacle to overcome. They also decided on the great need for sustainable textiles and materials in Tanzania. Furthermore, they need to share their work and ideas, to unite as designers and strengthen the Tanzanian position in the Industry.

Seeing these talents striving for their goals and continuously evolving in the process, inspires, touches and encourages not only us but everybody working towards pushing and exposing Africa’s greatness.

All Pictures from Photographer: Ousmane Kaz