Entertainment and Lifestyle

Fashion forward

Mvoo Wanje is the founder and CEO of Kenyan street and jewellery brand, Bonkerz. He’s dressed greats such as local celebrities MDQ, Octopizzo and EA Wave, writes Alfayo Onyango

My fashion journey began…when I was  young. My dad couldn’t afford the fire jackets that I would see as I flipped through Source Magazine nor could he get me the iced out bling at the back of  the magazine.It was moments like those that moulded me into wanting to be the designer I am morphing into.

My most memorable fashion moment was…when SA house legend DJ Cleo was in 254 for a gig and walked onto stage rocking one of my custom Bonkerz bear chains. That was definitely a big moment. Also, sometime back, you couldn’t switch on your TV and not see some merchandise from us. I love seeing the things I make on the streets serving their function. Those are my most inspiring moments.

A day in my life starts with…a prayer, meditation and a six-minute sketch challenge. I literally doodle whatever comes to mind within six minutes and if the concept speaks to me, I develop it during the day. I try to work out every once in a while, but hey, one day it shall become a habit. I grab some breakfast and begin my tasks for the day. Unless I have  urgent deadlines, I rarely leave the house early. I head out from about midday into the city to source and work.

The difference between designing for myself and others is…the freedom to truly express is found when designing for self. I find myself overthinking the process when I now have a subject matter other than myself to create for.

My range features…outer wear and beaded jewellery. I am currently sampling and creating for an upcoming drop. That will expand the range of products by a few pieces and accessories.

If I had all the money in the world, I would buy…not a yacht, sadly. I’d want to, but I would start by putting up a centralised processing zone for all things aesthetic: From clothing to jewellery, to shoes and sunglasses. I believe that the untapped ideas in Africa could easily revolutionise what has now become a repetitive concept brewing industry. Africa is the untapped resource that the world needs to fully actualise a new future.

My favourite international designer is…Helmet Lang. He is forever god to me. I also love Yohji Yamamoto and Virgil Abloh (the black designer that led  us to the ‘promised land’). Locally, Musa Omusi. I adore his pieces.

I believe you should wear…jewellery no matter the occasion. Also, wear red when you trying to stunt on lames.

Everyone should own…an amazing jacket, black perhaps because you can rock it everyday.

I would most love to dress…Lupita  Nyong’o to begin with, then Pharrell Williams because that’s such a solid cosign. Jesus would have also just be life-goals if he came back wearing some hard Bonkerz wrap-around.

If I wasn’t a designer, I would…be a songwriter or a chef.

I am wearing….black and gold polka-dot pajama pants, a black tee, black BWZ jacket, knee-high pink socks and black airmax97.

My best fashion buy is…My bucket-wheat Timberland Boots. They’re three years old, and still look new. They were almost worth my rent, but hella worth it.

My style icon is…currently, ASAP Rocky. That homie is too smooth.

My signature scent…is Davidoff Cool Waters. I don’t like musky scents.

My fashion obsession…are shoes, shoes and more shoes. God knows my shoe prayers. (Laughs).

I stock up on…cereal, chocolate flavoured cereal.

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