Meet the Team

Ruth has a degree in Industrial Design from Nairobi University. She learned about all kinds of traditional crafts in a project that was developing prototypes together with traditional “jua kali” artisans in Nairobi. She then spent a year in Italy learning leather bag design at Scuola del Cuio in Florence before starting Blackfly Designs in Nairobi in 2012.

I started Blackfly by designing jackets for women from african print fabric. I had them made in my own studio at Adams Arcade in Nairobi with a team of three. Soon we had accumulated a colourful mosaic of cut out pieces of fabric. From these spill pieces I first made skirts and now all kinds of accessories. I recycle leather from old jackets,  and buttons, zips and buckles from mitumba, second hand clothes. I collaborate with a number of skilled artisans in Nairobi and its environs. Our customers appreciate how each of our items is unique and handmade with great attention to detail.

Read more about Ruth in this interview for Biashara. 

Ruth Abade

Ruth Abade

Designer
Odhiambo

Odhiambo

Tailor

Straight-stitching, meticulous and soft-spoken master tailor.

Pauline

Pauline

Assistant Manager

Super-organised assistant manager, tireless and good at the little details

Nyakundi

Nyakundi

Tailor
David Onyango

David Onyango

Tailor
Abednego Ndeto

Abednego Ndeto

Leatherwork
Patience

Patience

Assistant in the clothes department
Janet

Janet

Assists in the sourcing and crafting of leather bags
Jack

Jack

Helps in the cutting of leather and fabrics needed in the bags
Jose

Jose

Leatherwork tailor does the template making and stitching of bags