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Nairobi Design Week Returns for It’s 9th Edition

Nairobi Design Week Returns for It’s 9th Edition

We Got This - Nairobi Fashion Week - Afrocritik

The fashion festival is set to run from 9th to 17th March, 2024.

By Frank Njugi

Nairobi Design Week, arguably East Africa’s biggest fashion and design soiree, is set to return for its 9th edition on Saturday, 9th March, 2024. The fashion event is known to be influential, influencing fashion and design trends for current and approaching seasons in East Africa. 

Nairobi Design Week is organised by Nairobi Design, a design consulting agency that creates exceptional and unconventional experiences within the Kenyan and African communities. According to the organisers, the theme of this year’s edition is dubbed “We Got This”. Visitors of the fashion festival will experience immersive vendors, exhibitions, talks, and workshops that showcase Kenyan and global creativity and innovation. The first edition of Nairobi Design Week was held in 2015. 

NDW2024 Poster - Nairobi Design Week - Afrocritik

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Nairobi Design is also a board member of World Design Weeks (WDW), a global organisation representing over forty design festivals worldwide, thus ensuring Nairobi remains an integral part of the creative economies and cultural calendars of cities across the globe.

Speaking with Afrocritik, Adrian Jankowiak, Founder and Director of Nairobi Design said, At Nairobi Design, we see how Kenyans harness the power of design to solve problems. Every year, the festival selects a theme that resonates with people’s lives and feelings, which helps us curate a unique experience from the many applications received. This year’s theme has captivated imaginations, sparking discussions and interpretations that reflect the pride, independence, and personal stories of our diverse community. Together, the people in our community continue to push boundaries, defy expectations, and shape a brighter future through design. We remain committed to showcasing their work through impactful and meaningful experiences.”

There will also be a vibrant array of products, technologies, fashion, digital works interactive experiences, thought-provoking installations and engaging discussions at this year’s edition. Ananse Africa, a marketplace for authentically African, independent artisans and brands that foster fashion entrepreneurship, will host an exhibit and a masterclass on e-commerce and digital marketing. Circleg, the Swiss-Kenyan social enterprise, is set to exhibit their recently launched prosthetics, inviting visitors to learn how design combines with prosthetic care to change lives. Supported by the British Council, Creative DNA — a programme funded by the FCDO and designed to support fashion businesses in Kenya —  will unveil the works of 18 emerging fashion designers, offering a glimpse into Kenya’s dynamic fashion landscape. Africa Collect Textiles will repurpose denim into wristbands for visitors, and host a textile photo booth.  

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Nairobi Design and Opportunity Factory, which is the festival venue partner, has also created a mural to stand for ending violence against women which will be displayed at the festival. Hisi Studio, a collective enterprise that is known to offer experiential crafts, will present a braille installation for visitors to interact with, and Rethread Africa will display their textiles made from pineapple fibres.

Panel discussions and workshops, which will be held on the Baraza stage, will delve into cutting-edge topics such as AI and future technologies – courtesy of Microsoft. Maison Interactive, in collaboration with the National Museums of Kenya, will showcase how they have digitised and immortalised the nation’s world heritage sites. Through a combination of 360 film production and 3D modeling, they will display how they have documented iconic locations such as Fort Jesus, Thimlich Ohinga, Mnarani, Jumba la Mtwana and Takwa.

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This year’s Nairobi Design Week partners include Ananse Africa, British Council, Microsoft, World Design Weeks, Maison Interactive, Afrika House, What Design Can Do, in Nairobi and Designboom. The festival is set to run until 17th March, 2024.

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