The Kenyan Fashion Label Ikeno Clothing Was Inspired By Life On Lamu Island

A variety of slow fashion men’s wear Jemima Bornman founded Ikeno in October 2019 and was inspired by Lamu Island, Kenya.
The glare of the equatorial sun is reflected in Ikeno’s clothes. The clothing trend is made of baggage and worn-out materials and is slow and sustainable.

The spirit of Lamu, where the company’s founder, Jemima Bourneman, lives, is immediately reflected in the airy cotton and large cuts. It easily catches the wind that hits the Indian Ocean and is ideal for use in the heat of the tropical climate.

A young Masai man walks by and laughs with him, and a young man walks by and waves to the village of Shera. Donkeys are wandering around without paying attention. Since it moves slowly, it seems to be hallucinating, so calm down and sweat.

When asked about the focus of menswear, Bourneman replied to OkayAfrica: She points to and explains the island’s famous boats. She said, “My last suit line was made from the sails of a dhow that you see passing by. Look.”

One of the largest offshore islands, Lamb is just 60 miles from the border with Somalia. A place with no cars or trucks and a predominantly Swahili-speaking Muslim population. The donkey’s sturdy back was under the enormous burden of creating and maintaining an island. This is still happening today.

Bourneman moved to Lamb at the age of three after moving from Zambia when his parents divorced.
The neighborhood gathered to support a young single mother and her daughter. She stays with Bourneman, like her, and feels a strong connection with people who know her life.

She reclines in the shade. After she spends a long night with bass and barracuda, the fisherman ties a rope behind her. “It doesn’t make sense for Ikeno or me to live anywhere other than Ram. My house,” she declares. Why leave Kenya, a great creative center for fashion, design and art? For me, it’s a place where the magic of creativity may be found every minute.

Ikeno relies on recycled items that capture the essence of the island, taking advantage of the rhythm and sound of the island. “Ikat hand-woven fabrics from India have always been exported to East Africa and Lamb,” said Bourneman, who procures collection fabrics from India.

Given the confluence of art and trade that make up the region’s culture, it is inevitable to be inspired by the region’s past Swahili, Arabic, Persian and Indian influences.
Bourneman’s eyes brighten when talking about the island’s elaborate, floral-engraved door frame that influenced the geometrically designed block print on her brand new shirt.

Bornman has little hope of expanding the brand beyond the current brand. I should never admit it, but I’m happy to keep things modest.
In fact, I believe it’s important, “she claims. “During the rainy season, the tailor Sanga I work with returns to Malindi’s home near the coast. When it comes to stitching, he’s discrete, experienced and thorough. Not just Ikeno. I feel very fortunate to have him in my life.

All the clothes Ikeno makes are sewn together by Miga. Bornman is less reluctant to act as a spokesperson for their business business relationship between the two.

Together, they are creating something that is compassionate and inherently environmentally friendly. A company that is virtually alone and happy to be happy there.

When it comes to presenting Ikeno’s story, Bourneman is also attentive to her collaborators. She teamed up with contemporary visual arts group 199x to create an editorial for the brand’s latest collection.
When art director Michael Mwangi Maina and photographer Fred Odede founded 199x, they were two friends doing what they liked. Currently, 199x is a very popular agency.

According to Maina, all the customers we work with are aware that we need to handle the creative part.

“We are delicately skilled.” Bourneman and I exchanged views in preparation for our arrival at Lamb. Looking at the pictures of the desired location, Odede had already visited the island but was unable to prepare Mina.

“I can’t put it into words,” he says. “The sea was too big for me. The local atmosphere of the place, the shades of the sky, and the mangroves. Almost too much, but that was all we expected.

Together with the other three members of their group chosen as models, they spent seven days filming. Although long weekdays, the nights were festive and when things started to get things done, the whole experience turned into an adventure.

As Odede says, being able to work and have fun “feels like everything an artist needs. Slow fashion is very important to us, but everyone knows that Kenya exists. We wanted to let you know that it was intended to be felt both locally and globally.

When asked if their company is expanding internationally, Mina smiles and leans forward. He argues that both culture and fashion are reflected in our work.
We are a pioneer in the complete campaign editing work in East Africa, so there is never a shortage of ideas here. “Africa now owns the vision and we have taken on that role,” Odede nodded seriously. From Lamu Island all over the world.

Courtesy of content Okay Africa & NFH

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