Barney Ogolla, an interior designer for FORESIGHT INTERIOR and a former University of Nairobi student recently started a line of different T-shirt designs under a brand called iFUOR. Booker Chek caught up with him during his first photo shoot and compiled a list of questions for him.
The Kenyan Fashion industry is still struggling but business men and women are registering a lot of sales in the existing open-air markets all over the country. Kenya’s textile industry is currently being hit by operating costs like electricity and delayed export/import process at the Mombasa port. The availability of cheap apparel imports and Mtumba(second-hand cloths imports) in the market isn’t helping either.
Barney noted that there are a few other key players in the T-shirt business in Kenya and he looks upto Ozwald Boateng a Fashion designer from Britain and Dxpechef from Britain.
- Why Fashion design?
Fashion design is a form of visual communication that is too loud to be ignored. It makes part of our environment, colours our lives and enlightens those who experience it.
I also thought to do tee shirts as they act as a great piece of canvas where I can do my arts and expressions for people to experience.
- How it began?
I was inspired by other units who were doing the same. I had started off by doing drawings on tees as far back as primary school. I used to do “jik” and “kiwi” tees using stencils that I used to come up with. I then went on to using fevycryl paints on tees. In high school I redesigned our school’s (Nairobi School) basketball kit, and that’s how I got psyched to go into fashion.
- Response from the market so far?
The market perception has been awesome. People like the product, both genders, the young, the old; even kids have a special liking for the patterns used in the clothing line.
- Is the design a special piece?
Yes, the design is very special as I actually drew it out on paper carefully using mathematical tools for precision. The design is also very dear to me as it took like 6moths for me to finally decide to use it.
- How am I different from the others?
I guess I’m different from the others because;
I am that kind of designer that has a degree in design from one of the biggest universities in the Kenyan region. I have design skills that vary from fashion, graphic, photography and also have an understanding of color Chroma and hue.
I also have studied vastly sociology and basics in psychology and hence my design will tend to be subliminal; you will like it without actually knowing why.
I’m also lucky to have studied with some of the best designers in day today Kenya and learnt from them. They help me when I’m stuck and with that I’m able to transcend minds in a more conclusive way.
By Booker Otieno Chek.
Photos courtesy of iFuor and Chillimango.