On January 30, 2016, Ory Okolloh Mwangi tweeted a list of Kenyan women who are powering the creative, maker, branding and fashion space. After recognising 30 incredibly accomplished women she urged: “please women, reject the shrinking...shine, shine, shine.’’ For me, the collaboration between Sharon Mundia, founder of award-winning fashion and lifestyle blog This is Ess, and Kenyan clothing brand Vivo Activewear is a wonderful example of this.
First, introductions courtesy of Ory:
Wandia Gichuru – Founder @VivoActivewear. Has created a clothing line that works for EVERY woman. Ask Nairobians. [sic]
Sharon Mundia – Personal style & lifestyle blogger. But really, a one-woman marketing machine...executed brilliantly. [sic]
Internationally, collaborations between fashion bloggers and fashion brands are nothing new. In 2009, Garance Doré’s illustrations were printed on a limited edition line of tees sold as part of Gap’s 40th anniversary activities in London; last year Susanna Lau (better known as Susie Bubble) designed a denim capsule collection for the fashion brand Monki; and just last month Leandra Medine, the founder of Man Repeller, created a seven-piece collection for Atea Oceanie.
But the 11-piece capsule collection that Sharon developed with Vivo is the first collaboration between a Kenyan blogger and a Kenyan fashion brand. And hopefully, this is just the first of many such partnerships.
On her blog Sharon explained that she really wanted to create a collection that not only reflected her style, but also met her need for versatile and comfortable pieces, gushing that she “practically live[s] in the bodysuits”. The collection also includes a sleeveless waistcoat, Palazzo Pants, a chiffon top with fringe detail, a pencil skirt and dress with fringe detail, a satin top; and the sleeveless top and cigarette pants you see Sharon wearing here.
Photograph courtesy of Vivo Activewear.