This pencil skirt with 3D pockets and geometric angles is made from a West African kente-like material and is one of the designs the brand Mambo Pambo created in collaboration with and exclusively for Republi.ke.
Kawira Mirero founded Mambo Pambo when she moved back to Kenya just over two years ago. In 2008, Kawira had moved to Ghana when her husband’s job necessitated it and there, having trained as a graphic designer, she continued her work in marketing and communications.
It was West Africans’ love for prints that inspired Kawira to start making clothes. “In Ghana, if there is a birthday or a wedding, you give a print”. In her free time, Kawira made clothes for friends and family and she knew this was what she wanted to do full-time in Kenya. So when she and her family moved back to Nairobi she shipped a container full of material from West Africa, some of which was used to make this pencil skirt.
In September of last year Kawira approached Annabel Onyango of Republi.ke to see if she’d be interested in stocking Mambo Pambo. The two met and discussed ideas for designs, including the 3D pockets. Kawira sketched it out and the idea evolved into what you see here.
This story was produced in partnership with Maridadi.co. Sam Nkirote McKenzie of Maridadi.co attended the tenth edition of the Blankets & Wine festival on Sunday 10 July 2016, and interviewed the designers who participated in the festival’s fashion pop-ups. Maridadi.co showcases the best of East African design.