Kenyan designer Iona McCreath took to the Arise Fashion Week runway in Lagos, Nigeria, to launch her latest collection for KikoRomeo at the Arise 30 under 30 show.
Her collection is named Eripoto, a Maasai word that means protection, represents protection in its different forms; from people’s need for it and how forms of protection have changed over time. Exploring themes of vulnerability through fluid forms and fabrics, Iona’s designs contrasted this with structure and rigidness.
The clothes from the collection were made from natural fibers including handwoven ones from Kisumu-based Pendeza Weaving Project. The cottons had been stencil sprayed by Alfred Shikanga, who also tie dyed others as well as Nubiana Studio, bringing rich diversity to the patterns and textiles. Decorative elements in embroidery, beadwork and hand painting were derived from the shape of a necklace Iona had been given by the Namayiana Maasai Women’s Group as a symbol of protection.
Speaking about her collection Iona said, “It’s incredibly important for me to tell the story of the entirety of the fashion value chain. Most often the fashion designer is looked at as the end all, be all. Yet, we are nothing without our teams. I like to use the analogy of music. A fashion designer is like a composer and conductor, you have the vision and the know-how of how to execute it yet you need a multiplicity or different instruments to bring your vision to life. You may be able to play some of those instruments but there’s no way you can compose, conduct and fill the place of a whole orchestra, all at the same time”. She also acknowledged renowned Nigerian designer Bubu Ogisi for styling the collection and Reed Davis for the photography in Lagos.
The collection will be available for pre-order online at kikoromeo.com with a curated selection for purchase on industrieafrica.com from late January 2021. KikoRomeo also stocks at different locations i.e. KikoRomeo, Nairobi; Temple Muse, Lagos; Koibird, London; Saargale, Paris; FKoncept, Dakar; Doreen Mashika, Zanzibar.