Imagine walking into an exhibition to find a blend of fashion and art displays from some of the most promising creatives we have in Kenya.
Well, you do not have to imagine it because on Thursday, September 27, 2018, the gates opened for the first edition of the “Fashion Meets Art” exhibition at the Kioko Art Gallery in Lavington, Nairobi.
The exhibition, which is a collaborative initiative by Kenya Fashion Awards and Kioko Art Gallery, is scheduled to run for two weeks and will close on October 14, 2018.
The Kenya Fashion Awards has been keen on providing a platform for young designers to showcase their work, network and pursue their career in the lucrative industry of fashion.
On September 14, 2018, they hosted a two-day competitive event dubbed “NextGen Fashion Weekend” where many designers, models, photographers and creatives in the fashion industry, including students, exhibited their work.
According to Mr Atman Ngau, the reason for holding the "NextGen Fashion Weekend" was to give upcoming professionals a feel of the industry, boost their confidence through exhibiting their work and give them the opportunity to network with seasoned professionals.
The event was a great success and the judges identified winners who are set to be unveiled in an Award Gala later in the year.
Similarly, the “Fashion Meets Art” exhibition was launched with the objective of creating new opportunities for professionals in the creative industry through highlighting their work, networking and tapping into new markets. The only twist in this subsequent event is that it is a blend of art and fashion -- two disciplines that enjoy a symbiotic relationship.
In a press release, the event organisers said: “Art infuses fashion with longevity as some of the world’s largest luxury brands are taking a distinct approach to engaging with art. Conversely, art also stands to benefit as fashion in the 21st century is an economic force in its own right; luxury conglomerates drive huge levels of consumer spending, it’s a mutually beneficial collaboration with commercial benefits. This is a step towards creating new opportunities for the creative industry professionals through highlighting their work, networking and tapping into new markets.”
Fashion and art enthusiasts have been flocking to Kioko Art Gallery to savour the impressive designs showcased in the exhibition. The gallery is fairly new and seeks to promote a contemporary view of African art by giving young artists and artists with unique perspectives a platform to display their work.
This made it the perfect partner of choice for Kenya Fashion Awards whose goal is to present something new and exciting every year in its quest to creating new opportunities for players within the industry.
INDIVIDUALITY AND CREATIVITY
The gallery owner, Kioko Mwitiki, is a renowned artist popularly referred to as Kenya’s leading “junk artist”.
By displaying different kinds of abstract art, photography and sculpture at his gallery, Kioko has provided an alternative art space that allows and encourages individuality and creativity among artists.
The norm over the years has been to lump all Kenyan artists together in a competitive market and force them to conform to what is popular at a particular season in order to make great sales.
Hopefully, the gallery will, with time, defeat the homogeneity of the Kenyan art scene by encouraging unconventional styles of art such as the nonconformist “Fashion Meets Art” exhibition that is currently ongoing.