Nancie Mwai is a young woman who's
out to revolutionize Kenya's fashion
industry. Her fashion blog, The Fashion Notebook, is a journal that includes: her inspiration; on-shoot sneak-peeks and
post-shoot results; DIY tips and; much
more. Aside from an entertaining and stylish
blog, with recognition far and wide
(including being featured on the MTV
Style website),I'm excited to share this
interview with Nancie because she's
demonstrating again the rewards of following your passion. When I was
growing up in Kenya, I didn't even
know that being a fashion stylist was a
career option, let alone being one in
Kenya. Pave that way Nancie!
What's your passion? My passion is fashion, styling,
discovering new trends, helping people
with styling dilemmas out, blogging
and writing fashion articles.
What inspired you to create The
Fashion Notebook? I used to read fashion blogs a lot and I
never came across a Kenyan fashion
blog. We have loads of potential in our
country so I decided to start a blog.
What has been your greatest
obstacle/challenge? My greatest obstacle is when I'm trying
to pull clothes together for a fashion
shoot and the sellers refuse to give out
their clothes. Honestly it's very
annoying … . In such an industry, you
need to work with people in order to grow and sellers get free advertising for
helping me with the clothes.
How have you dealt with/overcome
it? With time, I've learnt not to stress
about it. If someone is not willing to
work with me, I look for another
option. I also try not to take it
personally – at the end of the day, it's
their loss not mine.
What has your greatest achievement
been? Well, I don't know whether this is an
achievement but, I've always wanted
to pursue fashion design and my mom
refused to hear of it. So I studied
International Business Administration. I
never thought I'd work in the fashion industry. I never did become a designer
but, I'm a stylist and I love my job.
Where will you be in 10 years? I hoping that in 10 years I'll be an
editor of a magazine, or better yet, own
a fashion magazine. We need more of
those in Kenya.
How does Africa inspire you? Africa has a lot to offer fashion-wise,
especially with designers here and also
in the diaspora. The fact that we can
now show designs at London Fashion
week! Another thing is that other
designers get inspired by Africa with the examples of Suno, L.A.M.B. Spring/ Summer 2011, Thakoon … the list is endless. One of my favourite designers
who has showcased at fashion week is Bunmi Koko – she reminds me so much of Mcqueen with her designs. Anything else you'd like to share? People always ask me how I manage to
constantly update my blog. It's one
thing alone: passion. Whether your day
is packed with meeting after meeting, if
you have a passion for something,
you'll get an hour to dedicate to it.
Anything we should look out for in
the coming weeks/months/year?
My graduation in August – that I cant
wait for. I have some pending projects
which I'm currently working on and if
anything comes up I will share it on my blog.