In a vast informal settlement at the heart of Nairobi, a young man is changing the narrative in the fashion business.
At David Ochieng’s workshop in Kibera slum, every stitch is made with great precision to bring forth fine quality outfits.
David created his fashion brand 'Lookslike Avido' from the inspiration he drew from his time as a dancer. His customized outfits at the time were liked by many people and so he decided to try his hand in the fashion business.
'LooksLike Avido' has seen massive growth and has been able to break through the international fashion business, something Ochieng is very proud of and eager to share.
"Up to now I have been able to dress people like Chronixx, I have been able to dress Buju Bunton, I have been able to dress Ty Dolla Sign, Bruno Mars, Alaine, Ce'cile, Christopher Martin, Romain Virgo, Jah Cure and then later on we also worked with Beyoncé for Black Is King" he says.
Ochieng is quick to add that the album highlighted his brand as one of the fashion companies out there that was supporting human nature and also supporting how people live in the society."
20% of every sale made by 'Lookslike Avido' goes to the Avido foundation to help with community empowerment projects and educating bright students from the slum.
"We have programs like sewing program, aside from sewing program, this sewing program is like whereby we are training deaf women and young mothers how to make clothes. Once they know how to make clothes then we can introduce them to people that can give them internship or they can look for their own internship then after that once they are really good in sewing then we can introduce them to people who can hire them or they can start their own businesses".
Many of the beneficiaries of Avido foundation are now assured of a better future with the efforts being made by David to change lives. One of them, Esther Nduku.
"I have been able to make this pair of shorts. After the training I am hopeful I will be employed or open my own business" she told Africanews Kenyan correspondent Ronald Agak.
At the helm of covid-19 pandemic 'Lookslike Avido' mass produced face masks that were given free to the residents of Kibera, a gesture that earned him a presidential honour for outstanding service during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
So, who says that a fashion designer from one of the biggest slums of east Africa can not receive global attention or acclaim. Ochieng is one of the outliers out there proving this to be false .
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