We recently caught up with New York based womenswear contemporary clothing designer Kahindo Mateene, who is inspired by her Congolese heritage, and her ranges offer a bold focus on colour and vibrant prints that are transformed into statement making pieces with a modern flair.
Kahindo’s stunning creations are worn by discerning women from New York to London to Bali and Zanzibar, and we caught up with this passionate creative…
Tell us about your youth and your heritage that you embrace so passionately?
I was born in Uganda to Congolese parents, and I have always loved the colours, textures and prints of the beautiful fabrics that were around me from as long as I can remember. We moved between several countries when I was growing up, and the blend of different cultures fired up my creative spirit.
How would you describe your creations?
I feel that my creations are multicultural and can be worn by anyone, no matter who they are and where they live, added to that my inspiration from my travels through Europe, Africa and the Americas, as well as my New York surroundings.
Where did you study?
I studied at the Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago, and completed the Chicago Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Residence Program in 2011, and in 2013 landed a spot as a contestant on Season 12 of Lifetime Network’s Emmy-Nominated show Project Runway.
How do you plan on changing the fashion industry?
I truly believe that when you empower women, you empower a whole society, and I really try my best to support this cause through work with uplifting communities in my native Democratic Republic of Congo.
Your SS18 range was showcased recently at AFI Joburg – share more with us…
The collection features custom print inspired by my travels to both Cape Town and Italy this year. They are silk prints and the colours of the vibrant Bo-Kaap area in Cape Town and similar home sin Italy which I visited in March and May respectively really inspired me.
You will also note that the collection shows quite a structured look, with sharp edges, which echoes the architecture of the homes.
Find out more about Kahindo on her website, here…
Photo credits – Reze Bonna