What you need to know:
"I am proud of being part of the revival of the textile industry. It is always a joy sourcing for and using locally made fabrics.
"Additionally, I represented my country at the inaugural Thai Silk International Fashion Week in Thailand and the Festival of African Fashion and Arts," Imani Migwi.
Imani says fashion is her medium of expression. She describes Manciny using these lines: Being male is a matter of birth, being a man is a matter of age, but being a gentleman is a matter of choice. This is what inspires us to develop a wardrobe style that complements the modern gentleman’s personality.
1. For how long have you been a designer? Is one born a designer, or do you learn design in school?
I am self-taught, and I believe style and design are innate abilities. However, formal training and certificates help one learn the intricacies of the trade and the technical aspects that come with it. Every day is a school day in this field.
2. What has your journey been like in the Kenyan fashion industry? What are some of your achievements?
I am proud of being part of the revival of the textile industry. It is always a joy sourcing for and using locally made fabrics. Additionally, I represented my country at the inaugural Thai Silk International Fashion Week in Thailand and the Festival of African Fashion and Arts. I have also done collabos with like-minded creatives and I owe it all to everyone who has helped shape my work and who believes in my dream.
I’ve faced challenges too, especially in terms of archaic production practices. To be competitive, we need to keep up with global trends. I once called several sock manufacturers while working on this collection. A leading manufacturer told me that their technician was away on leave, and he was the only one who could work on sampling and quotes, so I had to wait. I had to outsource the sock production from South Africa and China. It was frustrating, but it proved that there is an opportunity in that area. Corruption is such a buzzkill.
3. Why did you agree to partner with Chivas? What aspect of the brand appealed to you?
That one is a lifestyle brand whose legacy is built on traditions of craftsmanship - the art of distilling, maturation and blending. Like style, it is timeless. The older it is, the better it gets. The bespoke digital print is an embodiment of our local Maasai shuka that features on the roll top back pack, the jersey, the jacket and the socks and pants. This is what you get when you blend sports, fashion, style, art and culture.
4. Do you have a favourite piece in your newest collection?
It is hard to pick a favourite. I love how each piece from the collective can hold its own.
5. Which influencers or models would you like to work with and why?
I would love to work with people that use their platforms as tools to elevate conversations. Boniface Mwangi is one of them.