Anyango Mpinga was born and raised in Nairobi. But in 2015 when she was assessing where Kipusa, the brand she created in 2011, was going she drew on her Luo heritage. In her research she came across the traditional ostrich feather headdress worn by tribal warriors and dancers.
She found that: “The ostrich in Luo culture is viewed as a symbol of great beauty and strength. The headdress, which is made of ostrich feathers, is used as a way of charming individuals who encounter the wearer.” And as she added when we spoke on the phone: “the ostrich is strong and beautiful, but it can kick your ass”.
This skirt is part of the collection. It is made from non-violent mulberry silk, using a process — pioneered in India — where the silk is spun once the silkworms have naturally broken out of their cocoons. Ordinarily silk production involves placing the silkworm cocoon into boiling water to free the silk filaments, a process that kills the silkworm pupae.
The ostrich feather design was also digitally printed onto the mulberry silk in India.