Twenty Kenyan start-ups have been chosen to participate in a British Council program supported by the Foreign Commonwealth Office to help the country’s fashion industry flourish.
The startups are: 1V1 Garments, BOGUK, Tiger Tail Twister, Iliki Resort Wear, Mariam Couture, Luxaltra, Nairobi ApparelDistrict, Vazi Maridadi, Muni Designs, Peni Mbili, TUG, Wangari Mathenge , At Odds , Olisa Kenya , SIANNA , DIRO , Nikech Amor , Kolakisa , Oqkra and Bour and Metamorphisized.
The companies are part of the second cohort of Creative DNA, a program that was launched in 2020 to help local fashion designers build skills, expertise, and global networks. The initiative is designed to demonstrate that fashion is a viable career option for Kenyans.
The initiative aims to demonstrate that fashion is a viable career option for young people in Kenya and contributes to the creative economy by supporting innovative alternatives to the global fashion industry.
Sandra Chege, the British Council’s Arts Manager for Kenya and East Africa, said the Creative DNA 2.0 cohort will also benefit from action-based learning through digital coaching sessions, co-created internet campaigns, and market opportunities.
“The Creative DNA 2.0 Cohort were selected based on the strength of their business models; design, creativity and quality; opportunity for growth and business potential,” says Ms. Chege.
The Creative DNA 2.0 program builds on the success of the Creative DNA 1.0 program, which saw 11 fashion designers complete the business incubator, participate in the digital campaign “Wauzine,” and open a month-long pop-up shop at the Village Market in 2020.
The British Council Kenya Arts initiative encourages the creation of new art and develops collaboration between the UK and East Africa’s creative industries.
“This project is committed to working with creatives and their communities to promote innovation and creativity, whilst promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion. The participants of these programmes become integral parts of the creative economies and networks in Kenya,” adds Ms. Chege.