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Saturday, August 24, 2013


Muhoho greets Kibaki as Uhuru Kenyatta smiles on.
Muhoho Kenyatta, the 17-year old son of President Uhuru Kenyatta, is the creative brains behind the youngest design group to showcase at tonight’s inaugural Kenya Fashion Week. Mo, as he is popularly known to his friends, is co-founder of the Nomadic brand and first designed a pair of trousers from khanga material two years ago. “I decided to get some pants made, some kikoi pants, but I saw some khanga material so I decided to make it out of that,” he says “My mum said it wasn’t a good idea as khanga was for women but I went out wearing them and people really liked them.” He says the trousers, which have bold colours and patterns, were so well received by family and friends, that he roped in fellow classmates at Peponi School, Nairobi, to register a company under the brand Nomadic. His partners, Rudradeer (Rudra) Khanna, 17, Wasim Manji, 16, and Waruru Wachira, 17 deal with accounts, marketing and production while he thinks up the designs. Two years after his first prototype of the khanga trouser - which he self modelled - Mo, who has a deep passion for the local material, says he believes his designs will continue to be well received. At their first exhibition last month, he says, they sold 100 khanga trousers in a day at the price of Sh2,000 each. “Apart from the pants, I’ve also gone into harems and shorts,” says the shy and unassuming Mo. At tonight’s fashion show, organised by Sonu and Sanjeev Sharma of Just Like That, Nomadic will showcase its full range of designs including trousers, harems and shorts. “The energy of this group is contagious and we knew they deserved a national platform on which to showcase their creativity,” said Sonu, the organiser of Kenya Fashion Week. Mo has personally designed all 10 Nomadic outfits to be worn by models this evening but is reluctant to reveal the details, fearing that doing so might eclipse tonight’s red carpet moment.
He does however say that the collection includes formal, casual and beach-wear and that he hopes it will surprise those with a dim view of khanga material. His harem trousers will be on sale at Westgate in Westlands, on September 7 and 8. “Our collection shows you the different ways in which you can use Nomadic,” said Waruru. “You can go to a club rocking Nomadic and you’ll still look fine.”

It may probably not be long before Mo’s parents, Uhuru and Margaret Kenyatta wear Nomadic to a public event. While the brand’s designs are unisex, Mo, who says he is determined to make a mark in the business world, adds that he would like to explore khanga dresses for women. “And later we want to go into swimwear.” “We want to do this ourselves. We want to try and build this ourselves. We wouldn’t want to get our parents too involved but we do take their advice and listen to it keenly,” says the self-deprecating teenager, who hopes to pursue a course in business management. He looks back at their first shoot and says: “We’ve gone from taking pictures on a white bedroom sheet with a phone on a bed to proper photo shoots by professionals.”

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