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Interview with renowned fashion designer, Nick Ondu,

Renowned fashion designer, Nick Ondu, caused quite a stir when he was selected to design the 2018 Barclays Kenya Open ceremonial winner’s jacket. He speaks to Faith Kyomukama about everything fashion

My fashion journey began…officially in 2010. But I gained interest way before when my mum introduced me to her world of tailoring. And while I didn’t study fashion at the university, it was passion that drove me to bespoke fashion.

My mentor is…someone I have worked with for a long time. While I won’t mention his name, I need to acknowledge that anytime we work together magic happens. We understand each other’s language of design.

My most memorable fashion moment was…when I dressed a lady for the The Oprah Winfrey Show. My most recent would have to be being selected to design Barclays Kenya Open 2018 ceremonial winner’s jacket. I’m humbled — I was competing with people who are more experienced in the fashion industry.

My favourite international designers are…Tim Michael and Ozwald Boateng. They are are on a level that motivates me and gives me drive, even more because they have African roots. A man should own about…three expensive, quality watches. It is a must-have accessory for every man. It helps add character to your everyday look.

Apart from my own designs…I like to buy a lot of fast fashion such as H&M, Zara or Top Man. To break the formal suit norm…I advise men to pair their suit in a funky way.

You can do this by introducing some sneakers or disregarding the tie. I splurge most on…shoes. I own about 40 pairs and proud to say they are high quality shoes. I always say…you would rather have more accessories than clothes — that way, you can play around with your looks.

When it comes to suits…the rule of thumb is find one that fits your body type. I strive to…bring life to men’s suits by pairing elegant Italian and English tailoring with modern silhouettes.

All my collections are…produced in Kenya. I create collections that allow my clients to embrace the lifestyle brand for all occasions.

For men in general…I always advise to work from the feet up. If you don’t already own a pair, invest in a good shoe. When clients are sceptical, I ask them to wear their old shoe on one foot and the new on the other. Without fail, they see a difference. Also, and this is important, make sure your shoes are always polished, properly heeled and soled.

I stand out because…I search widely each season to find innovative materials to experiment with and provide designs for the modern, successful man who loves to make a statement. I have succeeded to where I am…because I spend countless hours producing perfect fits for my clients.

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