Bright colours, bold prints, sheer and fringe details is what makes Ikojn’s collection showcased during the Fashion Food Fair at the Lord Erroll restaurant in Runda, Nairobi stand out.
Once every month, Lord Erroll hosts a themed event and for the month of July they organised the Fashion and Food Fair, where sellers showcased what is new and trending.
Christine Njoki, the founder and creative designer at Ikojn and one of the exhibitors at the fair, showcased clothes made to strike a balance between a woman’s sensuality and strength.
One of her best-sellers is a sleeveless, wide-leg jumpsuit made out of colourful printed fabric that she says has been sold out.
“The fabric of the jumpsuit inspired me to design it that way. I saw the balance and I felt it strikes the balance between modern and ethnic because of the prints.
What I normally do is go out and find different fabrics and then I am able to know if they will work for the brand or not,” she says.
Just two years since opening her fashion house, Ikojn, she was among the designers selected from all over the world to take part in the prestigious Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in 2016 held in Johannesburg.
She sources fabric and produces the designs locally, a fact she says many people find it hard to believe. “People think that Kenya has no good pieces of fabric or fine workmanship in fashion production,” she says.
At first she used to import fabric from China and other countries, but she later realised that it was very expensive and had to pass on the additional cost on to buyers of her clothes.
After scouting around, she found fairly priced good quality fabric.
Ms Njoki’s journey into the fashion industry started after she finished high school in 2004 and it was actually her father who gave her the nudge to try her hand in becoming a designer, something that came as a surprise to her.
“I didn’t think my father would be the one to suggest that I should go into fashion,” she says.
She first attended the Evelyn School of Fashion and later joined Mcensel School of Fashion and Design and did a three-year course.
Her aim was to bring into the market affordable clothing that is unique and of high quality and she knew she had to invest heavily in buying fabric and fine-tuning the production process. In May 2015, she launched her first collection.
“What we try to do is bring out the modern athletic woman and play with modern silhouettes. I focus on how versatile one design can be. It can be worn to the office and the same outfit can be dressed down to a casual look, but still stand out,” she says.
So far she has produced five collections that are all different and unique. For instance, for a light fabric she likes to detail the design either by adding bold colours and big zippers.
Ikojn plans to start a men’s line.
ALSO READ: Fancy Wear for Women with No Breasts