Canadian-based Kenyan music video director and artiste Qwiss Owoko has a keen eye for fashion as a designer. He talks with Alfayo Onyango about his style
Take us through your fashion journey.
It began with my mum always buying me outfits in different patterns and colours. That’s when I started realising that fashion and different types of dressing could alter your moods and functionality differently. To date, she has been my fashion mentor. To most people’s surprise, I inherited some of her shirts then tailored them to fitting size.
What’s your most memorable fashion moment?
I have plenty of them, but I would say it was when I made my first flower jacket. I was sitting in my house in Vancouver planning a show, when I told myself I needed to look different from everyone else. Then I walked past someone during the day and saw his flower patterned shirt and realised what if I had a jacket with actual flowers?
That’s when the creation started. I finished it then uploaded a photo on Instagram and everyone was blown away.
How is a day in life of a fashion designer?
A day in the life of a fashion designer starts the moment they open their eyes and see colour and texture. Then goes to deciding what you want to wear that day and also what theme you are trying to embrace.
What’s the difference between designing for you and for others?
There is no difference at all. For me, I love everything I do because I do it with crazy passion. If I make stuff for myself, I want them to be the best ever; if I am making it for another person though, I want it to be the best anyone has ever seen. My latest creation is the best creation so far, no matter whom it’s created for.
What does your range feature currently?
Anything that’s unique and not likable at first glance. Talk of the flower jacket, leather outfits, silk pattern shirts, fishing jackets, minimal formal attire and plenty of shoes of different colours. Who are your fashion icons? They are all simple in design yet complicated in creativity. I like Yeezy, Virgil Abloh, Buscemi, Burberry and Versace.
Is there anything like a perfect outfit?
I believe you should wear what makes you happy and gives you the best mood for the day. I believe you should wear any outfit that you can afford or make them yourself to replicate what you really want.
Don’t let money hinder you from wearing what you want. Everyone should own… Their own design and customised outfits. Most of the time, we wear everything we buy, but I think if we spend minimal time being creative, we could all come up with our own styles that fit our minds, body and imaginations.
What would you be if you were never a designer?
I would teach myself how to be one because among all other trades, fashion really brings out my ideas and confidence. When I feel swaggered up, I could make a bigger hit song than when in studio wearing all-day lazy clothes.
What are you wearing?
An anonymous locally tailored pattern shirt from Kongowea, Mombasa, It was tailored in about 30 minutes. I am also wearing a red Nike Airmax for my daily normal wear.
What is your best fashion buy?
A Versace print shirt I bought at Sh10 from a local market five years ago. It is still my favourite shirt.
What’s your go to accessory?
A pattern headband of different prints and colours.
What’s your signature scent?
It’s definitely 1 Million by Paco Rabanne and Guess.
What should everyone stock up?
Stock up on attire that no one else has.