Keziah Mumbi is from Nairobi, Kenya. She is a muse, content creator and all-round fashion enthusiast. You can catch her on the gram doing the most. Enjoy our interview with her for our Fashion Dazzler series.
NSPK: Is there any experience from your childhood that set you up for a career in Fashion & Style?
Mumbi: I’d stay up every Friday night and watch America’s next top model as a child, and seeing the themed glamorous outfits that the models wore each episode inspired me to be a part of that world when I got older.
NSPK: Tell us about your first professional encounter in the fashion industry (did you like it)?
Mumbi: My first professional encounter was modelling for a client and I remember the clothes were brought out and they could not fit me. It was odd because I remember sending my measurements a few days prior, and on questioning the designer commented that she made clothes for “actual models”. I was shocked and realized the importance of diversity in fashion and that we need all shapes and sizes represented everywhere.
NSPK: What’s your typical day like as a fashion creative/entrepreneur?
Mumbi: My typical day, (when I’m not in school)involves coming up with concepts for my shoots, getting props and thrifting, DIYing or working with designers here to come up with outfits that would match the mood of the shoot. Also, working with photographers to ensure it’s a success. A really good shoot can take weeks to plan, but I love seeing how all the little details make everything come together successfully.
NSPK: Tell us about the source(s) of inspiration for your personal style?
Mumbi: ALL magazines from vogue to Harper’s bazaar and also from African stylists and observing the style of various personalities. Currently, I’m loving all the looks Kenya’s very own Lupita Nyongo, is serving us for all her ‘US’ movie promos. Just the perfect blend of sexy, dangerous and savage.
NSPK: What do you hope to communicate when you assemble pieces for your daily looks? Is there any message behind it?
Mumbi: Not really, I’d just like to feel confident in everything I rock and to see all the pieces and accessories make the outfit come to life.
NSPK: Tell us about the most common remark(s) you get about your personal style?
Mumbi: People would ask me what I do, and I’d reply, “I study computer science” to which they’d reply, “Naah. Judging by the way you dress I thought you were doing something in fashion.” So now I just reply that I’m in fashion anytime anyone asks and I get the, “yes. I knew it!!!”
NSPK: How do you rekindle your passion for your work when you are feeling unmotivated?
Mumbi: Revisiting my little book of concepts. I have a tiny notebook where I’ve been jotting down ideas and each page contains a theme, the props I’d need, the context and all the outfit pieces I’d need to make it come to life. A lot of my demotivation comes from not having enough resources to do everything I want, but when I go through it, I see the projects I’ve already checked off, and think of their success and then I feel hopeful for the ones to come.
NSPK: If you could change one thing right now about your industry what would it be?
Mumbi: It’s perception to everyone. Most African parents think that fashion is not a serious career path and discourage their children from pursuing it in favour of more lucrative courses like law and engineering. So even in schools, not much is designed for students who want to pursue fashion other than school fashion shows and the bit that’s taught about it in home economics classes. If I could, I’d create programs for kids to encourage them to pursue careers in fashion and design.
NSPK: What work/project in your career thus far are you most proud of?
Mumbi: The outfit put together for African Nouveau and all the shoots done with them.
NSPK: What useful development are you hoping to see in your industry that would be immensely beneficial for the future?
Mumbi: More sustainable products in fashion. I recently attended the UN environment conference and at one of the panels, we were informed that fashion is one of the biggest polluters and uses the most natural resources… but I saw strides different designers were making to combat climate change such as recycled polyester clothes, using natural dyes in their clothing and even making clothes out of water hyacinth. I believe that this should be a wave and more should be invested in sustainable fashion to save our planet.
- Twitter or IG? – IG for daaaaaays
- Notepad or eWriter? – Notepad
- Coffee or Tea? – Tea, tea andall flavours of tea
- Read a book or Listen to podcast? – Read a book
- Comfort or Fashionable? – Fashionable,but please make sure you can breathe, move around in it and you’re not struggling
- Current song on replay? – Roses by Karun I start my day with her soothing voice
- Favourite TV show of all time? – Brooklyn 99
- Idea for a perfect date? – Picnic overlooking any beautiful scenery
- Favourite perfume/makeup brand? – Perfume; Erba Pura | Makeup I’d really love to say FENTY because of how perfectly it complements African skin, but it’s really sad that it’s not in active distribution here and yet we’re her biggest target audience of black women. I mean, MAC stores are flourishing here in Kenya and other African countries, so I don’t see why our queen Riri shouldn’t bring it here.
- If you had to wear one fashion brand for the rest of your life, who? – Alexander McQueen. Just so that I could be uniquely and fashionably stunning everyday