The Color of Couture – KiRette Couture (Kibonen Nfi)

16 Mar

With the advent of the use of the African fabric as a tool of trade in the international fashion design world, came the manifestation of color and ethnic designs as a creative alternative to the drab monotone appeal of couture fashion.   Color is an exciting element that provides another outlet of expression and creativity. Our next designer lives and breaths color and through her innovative designs and creations, she is on a mission to bring African sexy back onto the streets and fashion runways.

‘”What I think about fashion and fashion made in Africa is that this is an industry that can totally be tapped into and developed into real businesses. When developed, it will create millions of jobs and raise standards which is what we wish for in our beloved continent Africa”Kibonen Nfi (KiRette Couture)

THE BRAIN

Kibonen Nfi is an up and coming fashion visionary, who through her creative artistic flair, has found a way to complement traditional and contemporary designs and patterns to create couture pieces. Kibonen combines her love for fashion and Cameroonian heritage to provide a fashion offering that transcends racial and cultural boundaries. She and her creative partner, Anrette Ngafor, envisioned a fashion brand, KiRette Couture that is causing a stir in the international fashion world. Kibonen’s genius, however does not stop at her revolutionary brand; she is also a strong proponent of bringing Cameroon and Africa as a whole to the forefront of the global fashion market. Her capacity as founder of the Cameroon Fashion Industry Common Initiative Group, promoter of Cameroon’s Next Super Model and board member of Africa’s Next Super Model continues to influence her rise as a remarkable personality in the African and global fashion industry.

THE BRAND

KiRette Couture is inspired by the ‘toghu’ (also known as the Bamneda gown) – a colorful and intricately embroidered fabric typically worn on special occasions by the people of the North West and Western provinces in Cameroon. The premise of the brand lies in the seamless fusion of ethnic themes, fabric and patterns with more contemporary western styles and cuts. The KiRette brand resonates around the idea of providing an edgy, funky and color infused alternative to more subdued couture pieces. It is an ethical brand that specializes in tailored, handcrafted and limited edition pieces. The KiRette brand not only gives to the fashion community but also adheres to its social responsibility to its African community by providing employment opportunities to Cameroonian women in manufacturing sites “Feti” .

As an up and coming fashion brand, KiRette has been showcased in a number of high profile fashion shows including the ‘I Wear African’ by African Vibes Magazine 2009,  Camer Couture Fashion show London England 2009, Ovation Red Carol Fashion show Laos Nigeria, Wharton African business forum fashion show Philadelphia 2009,  Africa Fashion Week NY 2010, Afric Collection  fashion festival Douala Cameroon 2010, Fashion TV Fashion show at FIFA 2010 world cup, just to mention a few. In addition, the KiRette brand is no stranger to the fashion press, as it has been featured in a number of publications and media outlets including Cameroon Tribune, Aminah magazine, Nyanga magazine, Fashizblack magazine, New African Woman, Orijin magazine, BBC News- In pictures – Cameroon’s New Fashion Wave, Africa Magic Good Morning Africa and SABC.

The KiRette customer includes the fashion forward individual looking for a versatile brand that exudes class, style, uniqueness and can be worn during all occasions. Some celebrities caught in KiRette include Miss Africa USA 2008, Nyasha Zimucha from South Africa, Nigerian Artists Kefee and JJC Skilz, America’s Next Top Model contestant Camille Macdonald at BET Rip the Runway 2010 Red Carpet and America’s Next Top Model Winner Krista White at BET Rip the Runway 2010 Red Carpet.

Stay tuned in the very near future as Kibonen and her team officially launch the new KiRette website which will feature new collections and more information on the KiRette brand and what it stands for. However in the interim  be sure to check Kibonen out at the 8th Annual African Economic Forum, Columbia on March 25, 2011 and hear what the future holds for the KiRette brand and how it plays into the renaissance of African fashion.

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