Connie says “This is home, this is Nairobi. It’s crazy but I love it!”. Born and bred in the city she has never doubted that it is where her future lies. Studying fashion in New York and Milan was an exciting whirlwind, a highlight was interning for Audrey Smaltz one of the first African American models in New York. With Smaltz’s production company, The Ground Crew, she got to work back stage at the Mercedes Fashion Week. This experience only solidified her drive to work in the industry. However the plan was always to bring her experience and skill set honed overseas back to Africa.
Her parents were Connie’s first fashion influence and it was their style that inspired her. She remembers them getting ready in the evenings as a child “They were good dressers and they’ve always loved to go out and party.” she recalls. Returning to Kenya around nine years ago with her Masters in Styling in hand Connie could see the growing influence of magazines. True Love had just launched and this year celebrates its 10 year anniversary. Initially she worked for the magazines as a stylist but ultimately moved to set up her own styling agency. Till today the covers of True Love, the “make or break” statement for the publication, are styled by Connie.
Labelling herself as a “pioneer”, Connie is proud she was here in Nairobi ten years ago when the fashion scene began. She has seen an industry develop and grow in confidence over the last decade, however she believes there is still work to be done. When asked about her hopes for the city she says “I’d like to see Nairobi recognised as real centre for fashion in East Africa just as Paris and Milan are in Europe. I want Nairobi to have a presence on the international fashion calendar.”