Cphie Gitau is an upcoming fashion designer and stylist based in Nairobi
Who is Cphie?
I’m a creative fashion designer and also a stylist. I’m the kind who gets into a room and gets the attention without uttering a word because my outfits speak for me. I’m a second-year student of Sociology and Psychology at University of Nairobi and have a diploma in Social Work from Kenya Institute of Professional Counselling. My name is Siphira Gitau but people know me as Cphie.
When did you discover your talent in fashion?
I have had this gift since I was a small girl in primary school but I never gave it due attention growing up with a dress-making mother. Later in high school fashion shows I would be the queen of putting together lesos to come up with a beautiful designs. Things became more clearer after that.
What is the difference between designing and styling?
There is a thin line between the two but the difference is clear. Design is putting raw materials together to produce a finished product: for example having a fabric and cutting it into preferred designs to come up with something. On the other hand, styling involves putting the finished products together to create a theme. For example, knowing the kind of shoe or accessories to match with a certain outfit. Both go hand in hand for me.
Who is your inspiration or role model in this?
Yvonne Odhiambo founder of Afrostreet kollektions; her story is such an inspiration. Connie Aluoch has an a amazing sense of style. Finally Wanjiru Kariuki who is a fashion blogger and image consultant; I like how she puts it together.
What’s your greatest achievement?
An award as the Best African Outfit Designer during a beauty pageant last year tops the list. That was a kind of endorsement for my work and I must say it did wonders for my self-belief. I have also designed for and styled a good number of people.
What motivates you?
My motivation is my passion for art. Sometimes I go to the market and I don’t find the kind of outfit I want and so this makes me want to design what I really want.
Where do people go wrong when it comes to fashion?
Failing to appreciate our own unique designs and style as Africans. The continent is blessed with beautiful art and creativity. I call upon everyone to support our very own designers by buying local products and services.
What are some of the challenges fashion designers and stylists face?
One of the challenges is dealing with clients. We all have different body shapes and at times we find it difficult to convince a client that a certain kind of design and style will be perfect for their body shape and not what they really want.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I hope to have established a big company specialising in people’s image and one renowned for great service. I want the opportunity to showcase my creativity on the international stage. I have to convince women out there, especially those who lost hope, that they are still beautiful and they can rock.
Who would you wish to design for and style in future?
Definitely Lupita Nyong’o, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and Julie Gichuru.
What do you love about your trade?
It is exciting, challenging and dynamic because it’s unique and very niche.
How do you unwind?
I love nature and so treasure outings and picnics.