Remember the series I was doing on women game changers in the Kenyan fashion industry?
If not, read about the first piece here.
The series is based on the quote by Anne Klein;
“Clothes aren’t going to change the world, the women who wear them will.”
Today, I feature our celebrity Fashion Stylist who has just won an Award for the Established Fashion Stylist 2014 in the just concluded Kenya Fashion Awards.
Connie’s love for fashion dates back to her early childhood days where she recalls
being an avid fan of Elsa Klensch’s “Style” program on CNN. A combination of the
style show and her mother’s keen eye for spotting and wearing the latest fashion
trends fuelled her passion to work hard and become part of the glamorous fashion
Her formal training in fashion design started at the Evelyn College of Design, in
Kenya in 1996. Over the past ten years she has steadily built and made a mark in the
fashion industry both locally and internationally. On completing her studies in Kenya
in 1998, she moved on to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York
and also participated in a one-year study abroad programme at Polimoda in Florence,
Italy where she fully embraced the Italian culture and language, which she still speaks
In 2003 she moved back to New York to complete her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in
Fashion Design. While in New York, she worked for various leading international
designers and production houses as a Design and PR Assistant and Backstage
Director during New York Fashion Week.
Upon Connie’s return to Kenya in 2004 she played a major role in the development of
the local fashion industry from mentoring aspiring stylists to judging design and
model competitions and regularly attended the Johannesburg and Cape Town Fashion
Weeks. Her distinct and unique styling work has been featured numerous times in
East Africa’s best selling magazines True Love and Drum.
In August 2008, Connie moved back to Italy to pursue her Masters in Fashion Styling
at Istituto Marangoni in Milan and graduated in June 2009. Notably she is the first
Kenyan in the East and Central African region to have obtained a Masters in Fashion
Styling. While in Milan, she worked as a freelance fashion writer for the French based
online magazine “The Fashion Insider” in addition to working as an assistant for
renown French Stylist Annabel Vilda and visual merchandiser for prominent
designers during Milan Fashion Week Sales Campaigns period.
Connie Aluoch Styling Management was established in September 2010 in Kenya and
is a global styling agency that deals with Styling for magazines and production
companies, Image training for organizations and individual personalized shopping
To date Connie’s team have styled the artists for Tusker Project Fame Season 4,
conducted Image training for local media stations, Trained Deacons Staff Group,
sourced for wardrobe for advertising campaigns of local and international
organizations, mentored fashion students from the University of Nairobi and has
being instrumental in showcasing the first Kenyan Male Designer John Kaveke at
London Fashion Week in September 2011.
Among the challenges she faces as a Stylist is the task of convincing clients on the importance of Image and Styling Services, to finding suppliers that have the latest clothes trends in the market to managing her fashion business and ensuring that there is a steady cash flow. Despite these, Connie still feels there is a future for fashion styling as a business in Kenya and admits there are many local stylists living off fashion only. For this to happen, she feels programs should be introduced in the Universities and colleges that focus on Styling and Fashion PR.
In setting up your own brand, these are her words:
“Believe in your brand, focus on your target market, map out a plan, and be prepared to work extremely HARD.”
Her parting shot to interested and/or up-coming stylists:
“Train and work under an established Stylist. The Fashion Industry is very glamorous and enticing but one has to remember that you must be prepared to make sacrifices, work hard and be a person of Integrity.”
There you go, would love to read your thoughts and remember, don’t just be fashionable, make a difference while at it.