Thursday, 15 September 2011


Kenyan designer John Kaveke jets out tonight to showcase his new line dubbed Askari Kanga to be showcased at this year’s London Fashion Week on September 16.
Kaveke’s line is reminiscent of the colonial era when the British, German, Belgian and Italians clashed in the East Africa interior. To protect their conquered territories they recruited locals as a native police force. These local soldiers were referred to as Askari Kangas.

The Askari Kanga played a crucial role in the initial conquest of the various colonial territories and subsequently served as garrison and internal security forces. During both World Wars, Askari units were deployed outside the boundaries of their colonies of origin exposing them to new cultures, fabrics and colours.

His collection therefore includes jumpsuit shorts, tailored menswear that pays tribute to simple lines and colours accessorised with modern sandstorm bags. Tailored jackets for men with military detail evoking the brassed-and-buckled look in white and turquoise linen. Trousers inspired by breeches and knee-length socks, are slim pattern-blocked pants with pinched panels and t-shirts showing off the detailed essence of the Kanga tales.

The production team working tirelessly behind the scenes comprise of style guru Connie Aluoch, fashion stylist Eddie Kirindo, body paint and make-up artist Muthoni Njoba, uber Photographer Emmanuel Jambo and songstress Habida who lends her voice as the soundtrack of the collection.