Kiki Riruako, a Namibian fashionista based in New York City in the United States of America [USA], is hell bent on transcending the boundaries within the local fashion industry.
And if she gets her way, the current discourteous perception of tying full figured women to bedroom accessories fit for winter, will be kicked to the curb. Last Saturday at her fashion show, which initially started merely as a fashion showcase in 2016, Kiki brought the curves back to the ramp. The 2016 fashion show case, which went under the theme, Kiki’s Selection only featured clothing that she brought in the USA, offering local women a variety.
But her latest showcase, titled Kiki’s Selections and Designs, incorporated her own designs.
“I am all about women empowerment. I hate it when I see full-figured women feeling uncomfortable or refusing to dress-up because they think they are too big or too fat. Some of these women are very beautiful but approach clothing with caution because they feel unattractive,” Kiki converses stressing that, “ a woman can be large or extra-large and still look good because there are clothes out there designed to make her look good”.
Unlike her 2016 edition, an open-air show at the Pamwe Car Wash in Tura’s own backyard, filled to the brim, with fashionistas curious to saviour the latest from the US fashion circles, only handful of diehard fashionistas and designers, among them designer McBright Kavari, braved the chilly June winter breeze atop the trending Confab Restaurant, to see the latest in fashion from Kiki, and especially her designs, a first for most. Her offerings invoked mixed emotions; excitement blended with indifference to total outright criticism, especially regarding her Satin designs, particularly the design part of it and not so much the fabric.
The fashion offerings and the mixed emotions they invoked notwithstanding, it was indeed an enjoyable night with the models not disappointing and something for the eye if not for the soul, proving a league of their own on the catwalk, to strutting every stuff, matter, flesh, you name it. And yes not every garment on display was a throw away and certainly Kiki must have received some orders on the night. At intervals, the catwalk transformed into talent show stage as some daring members in the audience dared their various artistic antics from dancing to comedy, courtesy of a cameo surprise appearance by comic, Mark Kariahuua. The night was briefly transformed into a theatre of laughter as the comic delivered some jibes. Leading the event local socialite, actress and businessperson, Tjiuna Kauapirura, ensured for its partial success, keeping the audience spellbound with her masterful m-cing, and showing both the audience and models that she is also an old hand on the catwalk.
It later transpired that the models were just girl’s next door. Kiki’s position on the matter is seemingly no fib, and was corroborated by her selection of models. The fashionista cum designer opted to use ordinary women as opposed to the so-called professional catwalk models. Because she wanted the girl next door atmosphere to stand out throughout the night. “With Kiki’s Selection I feature clothing for everyone regardless of size. It’s all about being sexy yet classy,” she reveals hinting that despite her liberal approach to fashion, she chooses to shy away from the unrefined type.
Based in Nyack City, in the state of New York, Kiki enthuses that she will be part of the Namibia Fashion Week later this year. She also hints at flying into the country for the proposed Katutura Fashion Week, if the event materialise.
In a previous interview with New Era newspaper, the fashionista maintained that she was going to set up a boutique in the capital. However, the idea of a boutique is on hold for now due to logistical glitches. But alternative ways of connecting with her clientele are in the pipeline and will be announced in due course. The 30-year-old mother of three maintains that the just concluded fashion show went as planned, despite the little hiccups at the beginning, promising there is more coming from Kiki’s Selection and her brand of clothing in the near future. “Kiki’s Selection will definitely come back to Windhoek next year and God willing for many more years,” she determines.