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London based Tanzanian designer Chichia brings her blend of signature East African printed fabrics in playful contemporary silhouettes to jersey wear. In the collaboration with concept jersey label Made by Africa, Chichia refreshes everyday basics with a Tanzanian twist. East African knitted organic cottons and cotton mixes are blended with locally made traditional printed fabrics that transform and re-modernise jersey essentials. For SS12, these illustrative pieces of cloth, known as Khangas, have become a medium for conveying messages. The collection entitled Naishi Niwezavyo Siishi Mtakavyo, draws inspiration from this channel of communication by revealing “I live how I want, not how you want me to live”. As Tanzania celebrates 50 years of independence, the message significantly encompasses this essence of freedom. Mischievously playful, youthful and vibrant, the heart of the collection is a celebration of people’s individuality and vivacious spirit. For SS12, these powerfully poetic patterned wraps are fashioned in floral and ornate patterns combined with spotted dots, curved stripes and graphic checks. Summery fresh feminine silhouettes are adorned with loose jersey strand detailing to reveal flashes of East-African colours. The colour palette of diverse yellows sit amongst hues of blue and an accent of deep red. Chichia for Made by Africa SS12 collection is a range of ethically produced high quality garments using a combination of cotton blends and locally sourced organic cotton jerseys with African printed cloth that brings new life to the perception of everyday basics. In aid of Made by Africa’s concept of supporting local projects, 1 US Dollar of the wholesale value of every garment sold will go towards assisting in education for children at the SOS Children’s Village in Tanzania.
About the Designer
Christine is based in London, United Kingdom. She studied at University for the Creative Arts (UCA) and graduated in 2002. Her collections are produced in Tanzania.
London-based designer Christine Mhando graduated from Kent University with an honours degree, in 2002. After her studies, Mhando gained invaluable experience working for high-end designers as well as womenswear brands and suppliers for the high-street Mecca. With the knowledge she acquired, Tanzanian-born Mhando launched the label that bears her childhood nickname, Chichia in 2007.
The Chichia ready to wear range is an amalgamation of both continents and cultures from which the designer was born and raised. The label’s signature transpires from the artful application of the “Khanga”, a traditional east African cotton printed fabric used by local women as wraps.
The first Chichia collection was sold in London’s famous home of independent designers Laden Showroom quickly earning the label commercial success. Each collection consists of an eclectic range of dresses and separates in modern wearable silhouettes and styles in a variety of succulent colours. Chichia’s intelligent use of eye-catching colourful prints in natural fabrics intermixed with beautiful embellishments and intricate detailing makes every piece uniquely innovative and a timeless addition to anyone’s wardrobe.
Currently stocked in independent boutiques across the world and online, Chichia has gained a cult following on the online blog circuit as well as extensive press attention in distinguished publications such as Grazia, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and Vogue Italia. All have warranted Chichia a place at London Fashion Week showcasing in fashion events such as Untold and Fashion Diversity, as well as other prestigious events across the world including ARISE Magazine fashion week 2011 in Lagos, Urban Outfitters BAZAAAAR Pop Up in New York and Labo Ethnik Fashion Weekend 2013 in Paris, to name but a few.
Recently featured on Vogue Italia Talents in 2013, it is understandable why her inspired use of colour and print has warranted the Chichia label with a growing celebrity following. With fans including Beyonce, Chichia is fastly becoming recognised as an international African brand that modernises and transforms traditional East African textiles into stylish, contemporary and considered fashionable attire.