Things People Wear in Kenya
The Fashion Magazine as Research Publication
This large and colourful photo book offers inspiring insights into a fashion consciousness – seemingly at once alien and familiar – that has recently grown up among the younger population in Kenya. Some 300 photographs taken by the duo of designers during two research trips are almost all printed full-bleed on a page and often arranged into double pages. Fashion images are combined with interiors of garment factories, still lifes and travel impressions. Some of the pictures are strikingly rasterised while others are collaged, yet the result is nevertheless an aesthetic unity. The pictorial material is thematically subdivided into three chapters documenting three sectors of the clothing market in Kenya that exist side by side: up-and-coming local industry, imports of clothes from Asian countries, and the second-hand repurposing of clothes from Western industrialised nations. At the end of each chapter is an index containing detailed explanations of the individual photographs in a restrained design that complements the opulent visual festivity of the clothes with extensive background information. Everything about the book is surprising and extremely vibrant, and it presents the way the people view themselves rather than the perspective of an outsider.