Kenyan fish leather bags on the Grammys red carpet


Nthenya Mwendwa with a bag made with fish leather. FILE PHOTO | POOL

Kenyan leather bag design recently featured on the red carpet of the recent Grammys, becoming the first local brand to rise to the global level.

The Red fish leather wristlet made by artist and designer Nthenya Mwendwa was carried on the Grammys’ red carpet by singer and songwriter Bianca Atterberry, popularly known as Blush.

The fish leather wristlets retail at Sh37,824 ($300) -made of tilapia fish skin from Lake Turkana - both locally and internationally under the label, Saba brand, focuses on unisex travel bags and female-based bags.

“It was a complete surprise. I only found out when she tagged me on Instagram,” she says about the moment when she was informed that they will be used at the US-based awards.

“What is unique about this raw material is that it’s a sustainable alternative to using crocodile or alligator and snake skin. It’s a by-product of the food industry and no rare animals or species need to be killed to make my bags. It’s a versatile material that allows for experimentation and exploration.”

The bag was used after a collaboration with Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) and Dubois Pelin and Associates (DPA), a global brand execution platform, on the African Gifting suite last year.

Ms Mwendwa has also previously participated in PreOscars gifting suite, Cannes Film Festival gifting suite and PreEmmys gifting suite.

“All these events were a huge success and led to the opportunity to participate in the Grammys,” she adds.

“It is a platform to market the brand globally and get my bags in the hands of A-listers, film producers, stylists and production houses hence positioning the brand for that target audience.”

Ms Mwendwa started making leather bags four years ago, with an eye on the international market. The desire to sell her bags internationally dictated her fine craftsmanship and designs.

She sells her unisex travel bags made from hair-on cowhide, Maasai beading, fish leather, and top grain leather in the US, the UK, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Dubai, and South Africa.

PAYE Tax Calculator

Note: The results are not exact but very close to the actual.