Sheena Karegi is a 25-year-old Kenyan fashion designer based in Marbella, Spain. With a double degree in Fashion Design from Middlesex University, she is conquering the fashion world with her fashion line, Kali by Karegi, while pursuing two Masters degrees at the University of West London. Alfayo Onyango chats her up
My fashion journey began when I started designing clothes in 2013. I experimented for two years, creating outfits with the help of a tailor, although I was not serious at the time and I was not exerting my full creative ability.
So, I would say my real fashion journey began when I started fashion school in 2015. I was able to learn and understand how to be a professional designer and all the practical skills on how to make garments. In December 2015, I created one of my best capsule collections to date.
My most memorable fashion moment was my runway show on my graduation night in 2017, where I showcased the final collection that I created in fashion school. This collection determined if I would be granted my Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design.
It was the end of an era (university life) and the beginning of my life as a certified, qualified fashion designer.
A day in the life as a fashion designer starts with a huge healthy breakfast and a massive cup of coffee. Trust me, there are days you will even forget to eat, so you need to start your day with high energy to keep you going.
The difference between designing for others and myself is that I never design clothes for myself. But I have on one or two occasions, but I hardly ever sit down, design and create something specifically for myself.
I do not design for others either. In the past, I used to make designs and create garments based on what people wanted, and it was not giving me any creative satisfaction.
I also don’t design according to trends. I design for and from my creativity and imagination, and most of the pieces I would not even wear, but they look good to me and I am always satisfied with the result.
I am never thinking about public gratification when I design and create, which gives me so much more artistic freedom to just be myself.
My range features experimental style. I did a lot of casual wear in the past, and then moved to couture dressmaking.
My next collection debuting in January 2019 is a mix between minimal styles and colours and avant-garde; two completely opposite sides of the spectrum, combined into one collection.
I love to experiment a lot and my style is constantly changing as my creativity grows. Fashion is so vast; there is always something new to try inspired by something new.
I do, however, love print and in a few collections, I have created my own original print fabrics. That is one thing that remains constant in my brand.
If I had all the money in the world, I’d invest heavily. In my brand, Lord knows the amount of things I could do with a few millions. I would take all the necessary steps to fully establish the brand and open a few stores in some parts of Africa and Europe.
I would also invest in the stock market, real estate and land. I would also travel far and wide, see the world, meet new people and experience different cultures.
My favorite international designers are Virgil Abloh, Laquan Smith, Christian Cowan, John Galliano and Yohji Yamamoto.
I believe you should wear whatever you want to wear. Whatever makes you comfortable and one that makes you feel confident, happy and beautiful.
Everyone should own something perfect they can wear if the employer or date of their dreams wants to see them in an hour.
I would die to dress Lady Gaga. I love how she often goes the extra mile. She is not afraid of anything (fashion and looks) and she rocks it every single time. She seems like the perfect canvas for a designer to get really unconventionally creative.
My best fashion buy is all my trench coats. I have about five of them. I love dressing for the cold months, it is always the best time to dress up in multiple articles of clothing and look really sharp.
My style icon is Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue. She is 69-years-old now and fabulous as ever. She has got endless style, confidence and class. I also really love Naomi Campbell, she has timeless style.
I never leave the house without a watch. It is almost an obsession for me to know what time it is, at all times.
I could live in Tokyo, Japan. It is a bustling metropolis. My signature scent is Bois D’argent by Christian Dior.
My fashion obsession is a good handbag, a good pair of shoes and a good coat.
I stock up on beauty and hair products, mostly natural oils. My favorite natural oils are almond, argan, coconut, olive, tea tree and jojoba.