Creativity is beautiful, it makes fashion awesome. Time and time again, African brands skillfully merge creativity energy with fashion to create mind-blowing designs. Should we talk about Alhuwalia who makes outstanding pieces from secondhand clothing or Tongoro and its outstanding face pieces? Nah, we’ve talked about those already, you can click the links to read about them. We’ll talk about Kibonen today and the creative energy that placed her in the limelight.
About The Kibonen Brand
Kibonen Thiuwas was born in Cameroon with a love of fashion in her heart. However, Cameroonians frowned at fashion so she couldn’t delve into it. She simply grew up admiring fashion and taking mental notes as she silently groomed the passion for fashion in her heart.
In 2013, Kibonen broke free from the superstitious fear of fashion and started her own brand Kibonen with a beautiful collection of dresses. Her outfits are a smart combination of Cameroonian toghu and modern fabrics.
Kibonen was nominated for the Africa Fashion International Emerging Designer Awards that same year and she won seamlessly. She also got the chance to showcase her talents at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York and South Africa.
This put Kibonen in the limelight and she decided to stay there. She fine-tuned her fashion skills by obtaining a degree from The Art Institute of New York City where she studied fashion design. There, she learnt to research effectively and better interpret designs.
In 2015, She was one of the 200 designers around the world featured in the September issue of Vogue Italia. Just a couple of weeks later, she was featured on the popular ‘Humans of New York blog’. The publicity of her story got her an astonishing number of about 100,000 new social media followers, near 6000 shares, and thousands of orders that made her website eventually crash.
She has styled Oscar Winner, Lupita Nyong’o, for the promotion of her movie “Queen of Katwe”, and has received praise from actress Ashley Graham. These have given her more public attention.
Kibonen often does haute couture. She simply takes orders and works on them. However, in 2015, she designed a beautiful collection of capes, coats and pants that she put up for sale. In her interview with the African Prints blog, Kibonen expressed her excitement at the outcome of the collection.
“I’m not much into the pants but the coats are ace.”Kibonen in an interview with African prints
The collection was a beautiful fusion of toghu and western materials skillfully put together. The wool coats were very elegant with amazing print linings, highlights and detailed cuts of the garments. The pants were nice too but the coats were the highlight of the collection.
Kibonen’s Top Competitors
Glemaud was born in Haiti and raised in New York City. He schooled all over the world and he channelled his variety of exposure into his eponymous brand. The Glemaud brand is one of the most outstanding black womenswear brands in New York. It makes top-notch sweater dresses and tops that are both sexy and cosy and has designed celebrities like Ashley Graham and Selena Gomez.
Sergio Hudson is a luxury ready-to-wear brand that makes statement suits, skirt sets and dresses. Remember Michelle Obama’s inauguration outfit that made headlines? He designed it. He’s a worthy competitor to Kibonen as they are both US-based brands.
How the Kibonen Brand Has Made Impact
Kibonen disregarded the scorn with which fashion was looked at. She proved that there is beauty and nobility in fashion. The brand proves to be a worthy ambassador of fashion and it represents it well.
Kibonen understands details, she never overlooks them. Perhaps the number of years she spent soaking little bits of fashion made her journey to recognition faster.
Did you learn a thing or two from this article? Let us know in the comments section below.