A couple of days in Stonetown and at the very nice Shooting Star Lodge in Kiwengwa in Zanzibar.
My job as a fashion designer with a soft spot for recycling is interesting, but not as glamorous as one might think. Most of the time it’s a hustle and bustle, walking for miles in crowded, noisy, muddy areas; scavenging through heaps of stuff discarded on the other side of the planet; chasing down artisans or someone who might know where I can find this or that little item, and all the time trying to decide if this colour or texture or material will be fit for this or that project.
So the other day I ventured into what must be one of the world’s largest markets for mitumba, second-hand clothes, looking for leather for several upcoming projects. My friend Zoe came along. Our first stop was at John’s leather jacket stall. A couple of hours later we left with a hired porter carrying two dozen jackets to the nearest place where we could catch a tuktuk.
Come back in September and I’ll show you what we made of all this leather.
New photos of some of our latest designs, with Nicola and her brother Jason.
Photography by Lars from Maweni Farm
These shoes… I can’t make up my mind, should they have the bow tie or not? What do you think?
A sneak peek of my best project ever: shoelaces!
Just wait until you see them on the shoes we’re now making for them.
Short holiday at Maweni Farm, an infinitely peaceful and beautiful hideout in Tanzania, just half an hour drive up into the Usambara Mountains from Mombo on the Nairobi-Dar highway.
I brought some re-designed clutch bags and a new prototype shoe.
Maweni Farm staff member Asha modeled.
Here is the new clutch bag design. Cleaner, with brass reinforcement corners.
Soko is the Swahili word for market. Every year there’s an exhibition at New Muthaiga on Thigiri Ridge Road. This year Blackfly shared a stand with Mary Onyango’s brand Accessorize.I was busy with another project and overwhelmed so my friend Zoe saved the day by volunteering to take care of everything on the first day. We wouldn’t have made it without her.
I saw a lot of people on the streets of Nairobi carrying PU bags made in China that were neither cheap nor stylish or of good quality. So I thought, why don’t we make our own? Here is a handbag in collapsible design with many compartments, a weekender and a messenger bag.
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