The British Council has announced exciting news for a select group of Kenyan fashion designers in its bid to boost the growth of a sustainable creative industry.
A total of 20 Kenyan fashion and accessories designers have been selected for a British council program dubbed Creative DNA which aims to help the creatives strengthen their networks both in Kenya and in the UK.
They offer action-based learning through digital coaching sessions, co-created online campaigns, and market opportunities.
The program aims to help these budding designers to not only consider working with their cultural heritage, local traditions, and personal identity but also fully learn how to incorporate them in their designs as well as learn how these are represented and communicated globally.
Speaking about the transformative nature of the Creative DNA program, British Council’s Project Manager, Kanze Nzovu said;
"The Creative DNA programme was created with transformation in mind, and since it was put into place, it has given Kenyan fashion designers both opportunities and challenges in equal measure.
In addition to learning how to develop their businesses while competing for funds to do so, program alumni have been given multiple opportunities by the British Council to explore prospects for expanding their brands and competing in international markets after completing the training."
Some of the designers picked for the 4th DNA include Itikadi Fashion House, Kisero Leather, Atieno Yarns, Wakianda, Ankole Luxury, Solo Nairobi, Istyle Kenya, and Reinas Gowns Kenya among others.
The Creative DNA 2024 cohort stands to benefit significantly from action-based learning methodologies, including coaching sessions, mentorship by well-established Kenyan and UK industry experts, collaborative online campaigns, and unparalleled access to market opportunities both within Kenya and the UK.
The six-week Boot camp, conducted in collaboration with Project Manager Silvia Tonui, veteran fashion designer and teacher Ann McCreath, and Fashion Scout UK, specifically addresses growth-stage challenges such as attracting the right customers, scaling to new markets, finding partners, and securing investment for all 20 entrepreneurs involved.