10 African Designers Selected for Mettā Inaugural Product Lab Cohort

10 fashion designers selected for Mettā's inaugural 2016 Fashion Product Lab in Nairobi, Kenya.
Ten designers were accepted into the Mettā programme after a rigorous multi-phase selection process which focused on the viability of their fashion businesses, creative designs and portfolio, and their potential to scale across the continent and globally.

Mettā, a global members’ club for entrepreneurs, today unveiled 10 fashion designers selected to join the inaugural 2016 Fashion Product Lab Powered by Mettā Nairobi, in Kenya.The cohort represents a diverse range of geographies and

The cohort represents a diverse range of geographies and backgrounds and was selected from a pool of 135 applications received from across the African continent. An overwhelming majority of applicants were women, with applications coming from Madagascar, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya and Nigeria.

Applicants’ fashion businesses were evaluated based on product viability, creativity, and potential to scale across African and global markets.

Utilizing Mettā’s crowd-innovation model, a panel of judges was compiled to select the finalists, comprising of Aaron Fu, Managing Partner at Nest Africa, Connie Aluoch of Connie Aluoch Styling Management, Miriam Mukundi of Mcensal Fashion School and Waridi Schrobsdorf of FA254.

As part of the Fashion Product Lab, the 2016 cohort will have the opportunity to engage with high-profile speakers, expert mentors, and a global network of support throughout the 8-week program in Nairobi.

Startups will also have access to a collaboration space,resources and support from Nest and other partners for free and at zero equity.

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The cohort comprises of:

  • 10 female designers and founders who lead their own fashion businesses primarily focused on ready-to-wear collections.
  • 8 Kenyan companies, and 2 Nigerian based designers.
  • 1 menswear designer and 9 womenswear designers

Meet the 2016 Fashion Product Lab Cohorts:

Ikojn by Christine Njoki

The fashion brand Ikojn was established a little over a year ago and has made great strides in the African fashion industry. The brand plans on telling cultural tales through design to the world in the form of impeccable construction and manicured tailoring. All the while helping the continent further build its fashion industry.

Kidosho by Liz Kitua  

Kidosho Apparel is a demi-couture line, co-designed by and using the delicate craftsmanship of Kenyan artisans. Kidosho focuses on blending ethno-chic fabric with contemporary designs with an aim to not just design clothes but to instill confidence in the urban woman.

MΔΠC|ΠY by Wairimu Migiwi

MΔΠC|ΠY aims to be the go-to fashion house providing quality and timeless pieces for the quintessential gentleman. Wairimu is an artist using fashion as her medium of expression. Style is where her purpose, productivity & profit intersect. MΔΠC|ΠY embodies the Spirit, Style & Innovation of Modern Africa.

Peter Black by Irene Muiru
Peter Black is a womenswear brand that represents effortless style inspired by life in its entirety and creatively translates these positive vibes into every clothing item.

Binienu by Kaetochi- Swithin Nwuba
Binienu is an indigenous word that means “arise” or “stand up”. The aesthetically driven post-modern and mildly goth clothing line caters to the self-aware, edgy, confident woman with a knack for sophistication.

Swank African Fashions by Rose Tabby Kiiru
Swank African Fashions, is a fashion brand that reveals a new approach to art and clothing by combining modernity to the African culture through different techniques, fabrics, and designs. They are seeking to expand to other styles that do not only involve African wear for example bridal wear, haute couture, and ready-to-wear.

Ayitso Tsuma by Wendy Tsuma
Ayitso Tsuma is a women’s wear clothing line that embodies effortlessly chic style with an edge. Ayitso Tsuma pieces are a mix of classic and contemporary styles that give a modern yet timeless feel. It’s all about exuding confidence; the Ayitso Tsuma woman is bold, adventurous and unpredictable.

Nyabame Nyaribo by Moraa Nyaribo 
Nyabame Nyaribo is a design house that aims to make clients live a dream through comfortably different silhouettes and vibrant colours that allow them to positively express themselves.

Favoloso by Nanu
Favoloso by Nanu is pushing the fashion boundaries by bring colour with an African touch to global markets.

Jochlieu by Bridget Agba 
Jochlieu is a fashion brand for clothing/fashion education with keen interest in tutoring the next generation of budding mania minds. Jochlieu’s institute has a new and unique style of training with years of practical knowledge and practice.

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Mac-Jordan Degadjor

Award winning Ghanaian Technology and Startup Enthusiast. Passionate about the inter-correlation of technology, entrepreneurship and innovation within the African tech ecosystem. Tweet: @MacJordan Got news, products or services to promote on the blog, reach out via hello[at]macjordangh[dot]com or (+233) 544335582