Posted Sunday, June 17 2012 at 00:00
Kenyans find little to celebrate about its celebrities. Worldwide, it is near impossible to get away from their allure, money, power, status and social influence.
Internationally, the concept of a celebrity is as a product. A true celebrity can be deconstructed; taken apart and put back together, separated into enough digestible media bits — hair, skin, bodies, fashion sense, style and influence, actual success story, relationships, of-the-moment scandal and intrigue, diet, health, creative impact.
This is not a one-dimensional creature like, say, the much celebrated Kenyan politician.
In that regard, I will be the first to admit, it makes most of our local celebrities rather boring.
The path of celebrity is fraught with effort, littered with the ability to stay relevant, thereby endorsing products that have nothing and everything to do with one’s actual career, adopting and expressing interests, projects, personalities and identities. It makes one multi-faceted.
The greatest manifestation of this happens to be through fashion. It raises the power stakes.
Locally, there is little activity to this end. Examples do stand out though.
The Janet Collection offers a limited selection of classy yet sexy dresses for the professional woman that news anchor Janet Mbugua designed in collaboration with fashion designer Wambui Wakenya. Launched in March 2012, her platform is perfect.
Prime Time as an ad slot belongs to the big boys. Janet wears hers every evening. Proceeds go towards educating youth in Korogocho.
Rufftone’s clothing line has an ideal niche if there ever was one appealing to a much neglected market – men. More so after he launched the Chrome Edition about a year ago.
Emmy Kosgey’s fashion line is the perfect extension of her personal style with a very now desirable blend of contemporary African fashion sold from her shop in Nairobi.
There is no reason why these celebrity lines should not succeed. Jessica Simpson was in 2011 touted as the first celebrity billionaire via the fashion route.
Her shoes are available locally at Designer’s Outlet, 20th Century. Her label includes accessories, swimwear, fragrances and handbags. She once did hair extensions. Her clothes have a universal, practical charm.
Victoria Bechkham’s dresses since her 2008 label have made her legend in the world of fashion.
She elongates the silhouette while gifting women with spectacular curves.
Her grasp of proportions and artistic wizardry lifts buttocks, trims waistlines, flattens stomachs and flares out hips through cleverly placed internal panels.
They retail for up to $600 a piece. When she launched her fashion line the industry giggled behind their hands.
They sobered up when her clothes began appearing on the red carpet and celebrities of all ages genuinely raved about the fit.