Kenya Fashion Fridays, a recently launched initiative by Kenya’s branding agency, Brand Kenya Board, has picked momentum in corporate circles. The initiative was aimed at rallying Kenyans to wear Kenyan made brands and designs as a break away from the official corporate attires to replace the usual casual Friday dress down.
The main goal of this initiative is to have all corporates take up the challenge and have their employees wear authentic Kenyan-made fashion brands. This will embrace, celebrate, and proudly showcase Kenya’s national pride, culture and heritage through contemporary Kenyan fashion and promote national unity in the long run.
Through a comprehensive online campaign dubbed ‘Kenya Fashion Fridays Challenge,’ that has been running for four weeks now, the Board has been able to drum up support for the campaign, which has seen many organisations support Kenya’s growing and vibrant fashion industry.
Brand Kenya Chief Executive Officer Mary Luseka said: “We are happy with the progress of this campaign so far.The initiative will go a long way in positioning the country as a key industrial and fashion hub for Africa. Kenya has the ability to serve the domestic, regional and global markets from its pool of fashion designers and small tailors available. We continuously aim to create awareness of our heritage and culture expressed through our textiles and leather products that reflect our Kenyan style.”
“It does not just end at expressing our national pride and heritage. This is also anchored on realising Kenya’s Big Four Development Agenda with manufacturing earmarked as one of the key pillars that will drive development. Manufacturing in this case leans on leather and textiles industry that is labor-intensive in nature, translating to more job opportunities for Kenyans,” Ms Luseka added.
Many corporates on board
Since its launch, many corporates have come on board and introduced “Kenyan Fashion Friday” in their offices.
The ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade was among the first organisations to take up the challenge through an internal circular to all staff, declaring their Fridays as African Wear Day. This has been the trend ever since.
The latest organisation to join the cue in support of the Kenyan fashion industry is the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA). The taxman earlier last week issued an internal circular to all their 7,000 plus staff across the country to mark Fridays as “Kenyan Fashion Friday”.
The campaign run throughout the week encouraging staff to wear Kenyan Made brands and designs attires, hence marking this Friday, the first “Kenya Fashion Friday” in KRA. KRA staff from all cadres came out in their Kenyan Fashion to strongly support this initiative.
Other corporates which have also embraced fashion Fridays include regional logistics company Siginon Group, Gulf African Bank, National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), Export Promotion Council, Arimus Media and Karen Country Club, among others. They have rallied their staff in support of the initiative.
In addition, Brand Kenya Board has also received individuals drumming up support online for the citizenry to take up the challenge both locally and in the diaspora.
The CEO said: “We would like to thank and recognize all the organisations that have supported the Fashion Friday initiative. We laud the efforts put in place to promote our own local leather and textiles industry by the Government through the Big Four Agenda. As the Board, we are committed to creating awareness on the importance of mainstreaming authentic Kenyan fashion, into the corporate wear in Kenya, starting with every Friday and later on every day of the week. We shall continue to engage more stakeholders inthe public and private sector,in rolling out the initiative.”
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The Board will continue to engage more Kenyans to take up the cue and promote the local fashion industry whilst creating brands that are recognized in the global markets.