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Callbacks And Confirmations.

For most models, the ultimate goal is to walk the Victoria’s Secret runway. With the results of castings trickling in, we are so proud to see the number of women of colour set to walk the runway later in the year. As a black woman and activist, such gestures and wins for fellow women of colour make me so elated because it goes to show that we are beautiful, multi-talented and powerful.

We have a couple faces that walked for previous shows in the past few years, as well as a couple new faces. Here are some of the confirmed models:

1. Cindy Bruna

 

2. Jourdana Phillips

 

3. Kelly Gale

 

4. Lameka Fox

 

5. Cheyenne Maya Carty

 

6. Iesha Hodges

 

7. Harieth Paul

 

8. Mayowa Nicholas

 

Getting a callback for such a show has to be a really great feeling. Subsequently, it takes hard work, resilience and a few detours to get to where you want to be. Seeing these women get out there and get what they want is absolutely fulfilling, and I cannot wait to watch the show!!

Victoria’s Secret always surpasses expectations, and I hope that this year is no different.

To a great new week ahead.

Pageant Season. Pageant Lessons.

If anyone was to ask me now what i think about pageants, in one sentence I would say, “Pageants build character“. Most people would most likely beg to differ, but i have my reasons and insights.

Having actively participated in pageants for the past five years, I could say a lot about it. I’ve had the best time of my life in pageantry. And while in it, I’ve come to learn the most valuable lessons in my life.

1. Resilience.

Pageants teach you how to fall down seven times, and stand up eight. Being in a competition setting gives you a certain level of tenacity and resilience to fight for what you want. You find yourself in competition with about three hundred girls, with only about twenty slots for the finals. You have to have a certain level of confidence to get up on a stage and prove that you are worthy of a chance to win the crown. When you do get selected, you must battle it out with nineteen other girls and keep proving yourself worthy of the crown. The crown in this case being symbolic of your goals, and the other nineteen girls being symbolic of obstacles. Character.

2. Grace.

Now, for you to go out and put yourself in the line of competition and criticism, you need to have grace! Remember, there are twenty of you, or more. But there’s only one crown and, whether you like it or not, the chances of you winning it are exactly 50 – 50. There is no in between. You are taught, at this point, how to handle rejection. They say, that on a different day, with a different panel of judges, the results would most likely be different. We have seen beauty queens bashed on social and mainstream media for their looks or by people who disapprove of their election. To be able to deal with these situations requires incredible amounts of grace and class. It really is not as easy as it looks.

3. Friendship.

I remember when I did this pageant last year and I would hang out with Miss South Africa, Miss Zambia and Miss Ghana a lot. In all truth, I was routing for these girls. See, in a pageant, even if you are a participant, you will always have your favourites. And these girls were mine. We would help each other throughout the competition, and honestly, they taught me a different type of friendship :- being able to route for your friends even when you both want the same thing. During the finals, when the top sixteen were announced, they all made it through. I didn’t. And the most interesting thing that happened to me was, i went backstage, told myself that what is done is done, and i started helping them get ready for the next rounds. Pageants teach you how to value your friendships more than you value material things. Ironic, I know.

4. Positivity.

Now, there is nothing as hard to do as losing and still being able to smile. Not in pageantry, not in life. But the most interesting thing about it is that you learn to hold your head high. To be level-headed. To know that you’re still good enough and be able to clap for the next girl and understand that they deserved to win. Pageantry teaches girls how to stay positive. That in life, there are plenty of obstacles, and you will inevitably fail on some occasions. But you have to get right back up. Dust yourself off and do it again. All the while staying positive and upbeat.

5. Humility.

When you choose to go for a competition, you must have a certain level of confidence in yourself. In pageantry, we have this thing where “overconfidence” often leads to a potentially strong queen not winning the crown. Sometimes, they do not even make the cut. Because, at the end of the day, you must learn how to stay grounded. Do not let these things get to your head. You cannot afford to let your belief in yourself or people’s praises make you arrogant. You need to stay humble. The same applies to life. We have our hands on some money and suddenly, we feel that we are better. We forget that what we have can quite easily be taken away. Life.

I feel that pageants do not get enough credit. They really don’t. Pageants mould our young girls into queens. Pageants breed philanthropists, humanitarians and leaders. It is not just about beauty, money and great bodies. It runs deeper than that. It is about these women’s impact on society. Being change makers. Being role models and mentors.

Above all, I take so much pride in being a flag bearer for my country. At that point, you are not Linda Gatere. You are Kenya. And that’s a powerful responsibility.

It’s pageant season once again! And I can see a number of my friends competing. I hope they can have your support.

To a lovely weekend!

Florals And Stripes!

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Well, in case you may not have noticed yet, florals and prints are the fashion trends taking over 2018. Halfway into the year, and we can confidently conclude that florals and prints are the signature looks this year. It could be a dress, it could be palazzo pants, or shorts, or a jumpsuit. Whatever your choice of the day, a little stripes or florals go a long way to spice up your look!

 

The most interesting thing about stripes and florals is that, whatever it is, it feels absolutely comfortable! It’s like looking fabulous and classy with absolutely no effort.

 

However, it is quite easy to go wrong with prints, especially if your outfit does not co-ordinate. The safest bet when it comes to this is to pair a print with a plain item. As shown above. As usual, neutral colors are an easy go-to pick.

 

Two piece outfits are also an in thing, as long as they match and are accessorized simply and at a minimum.

I have seen a lot of great items at stores like Mango, Zara, Forever 21, LC Waikiki among others, all of which are relatively affordable.

 

What is your favorite fashion trend?

Ps. Remember to follow @fashioniconkenya on instagram 🙂

Growing Modest.

1_kxq_iowve6fiiviwlkrmkg.jpegThey say, “When you go to Rome, do as the Romans do”. Six months ago, I made the decision to move to the Middle East; to the State of Qatar. Which also explains my long hiatus from writing here. It has taken a lot of adjusting. Now, Qatar, as you may already know, is a dominantly Muslim country, and as such, it follows Sharia Law.

Moving to a different country is tough. Moving to a country that has different beliefs as compared to your more westernized home country is tougher. You do not realize exactly how different people are until you are out of your comfort zone.

Over the last six months, suffice to say, I have come to realize that change is good. Depending on how you look at things. I have had to revamp my outlook of fashion, to accommodate my now modest lifestyle.

I have grown to appreciate Parisian Chic fashion, palazzo pants have become my closest friends and midi skirts and dresses are a new favorite.

My second challenge had to have been the extreme weather conditions. Imagine needing to cover up, but also trying not to melt. The temperatures here rise to forty four degrees centigrade, or more. Chiffon, satin and other lighter materials are a great necessity. You must consider the material of any item you purchase to make sure it is just the right amount of comfortable.

Remember Kimonos ? Apparently, the universe has a way of making things work out for you because ever since I got here, my collection of Kimonos has been my saving grace.  Throw a kimono over any outfit, and it looks stylish, glamorous and modest at the same time.

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Well, Doha has been both great and challenging at the same time, but here I am. Back with new articles every week!!

Do enjoy your week, and, take a shot at modest fashion. You might like it.

The Victoria’s Secret 2017 Fashion Show

The 2017 version of one of the most popular fashion shows globally has just been concluded in Shanghai, China, and I am loving all the photos!

From Alessandra Ambrosio, to Adriana Lima, to Taylor Hill, to Jasmine Tookes, to Cindy Bruna, to Bella Hadid, to Jourdana Elizabeth, to Ming Xi, to Josephine Skriver, the list is endless!

Suffice to say that this year’s show was a success!

It may also have been Alessandra Ambrosio’s final show as a Victoria’s Angel.

My favourite take from this year’s event is the accessories used whose inspiration may or may not have been borrowed from the famous Maasai culture.

Here are some of the photos. Have a look!

Ankara Goodness!

There are so many reasons to be proud for being African. But let’s focus on our signature look: Ankara. When we were younger, they would call it kitenge, and for some reason most of us found them unappealing. Luckily, life has a way of turning things around.

With a little bit of creativity and style, you can transform this fabric into an iconic outfit.

To this date, Ankara has earned global accolation, to the point where internationally celebrated public figures like Beyoncè, Rihanna and Ciara have embraced the beauty that is African Print.

The great thing about it is that you get to be culturally aware, and classy at the same time.

Have a look:

IG: @fashioniconkenya

Understanding Makeup! 

Choosing the right kind of makeup is always an issue subject to debate.

Over time, I have had many people ask me what I use on my face, and where they can get the same. Before I settled on Black Opal, I had my fair share of confusion and dissatisfaction from many other brands. At the time, my choice was not guided. I made a few mistakes.

So, one day I was in town, and walked into the Lintons Beauty World store at Hilton Arcade. It changed my perspective.

The thing is, when you are new to makeup, you really don’t know what works for you and what doesn’t. And that’s a very common mistake that we make. The fact that we buy makeup from the streets, with no direction nor idea of what products we’re about to expose our skin to, their content and impact, is what takes us off guard.

Most of these seemingly cheaper products have a tendency to react with your skin. Mainly because the components used in them are not dermatologically tested. 

Here’s a guide to buying great makeup for you:

Step 1: Identify A Trusted Distributor

I chose Lintons Beauty World, since they are the main distributors for Black Opal and Black Up, and quite a number of great global brands including Lancòme. 

Step 2: Visit The Outlet.

Once you get to the outlet, a makeup assistant will attend to you. Note that these assistants are properly trained, with full knowledge of the product. They will help you identify what shade works best for you.

Step 3: Choose A Brand

I use Black Opal , mostly. My friend uses Black Up, and her skin is flawless! 

Step 4: Test For Shades

The makeup assistant should be in a position to help you test what shade suits you best. Make sure your face is bare when you go shopping for these.

Step 5: Buy!

I can almost guarantee that this will be your favourite purchase yet! The minute I started using Black Opal, I kept asking myself, “Why didn’t you come here in the first place?”

The beauty of it is that Lintons Beauty World has outlets all over the city; at Two Rivers Mall, Garden City, the Junction, TRM, Hilton Arcade, among others.

I do hope that your shopping spree will be as successful as mine was. And if so, hit us up!!

Rocking The Cold Season!

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The cold season is here, and there is nothing as frustrating as indecisive weather. How many times did you peep out the window, estimated how the weather will be, picked an outfit, and ended up suffering the whole day? Several, right? Me too.

The thing about cold weather is that you just never know! What with global warming and climate change. And as if that is not enough, it is always an uphill climb trying to stay warm and stylish at the same time.

Over time, in a bid to adjust and be effortless in dressing, I learnt a few tricks. For example, how warm crotchet sweaters are, without necessarily being too heavy to wear.

First things first, do not wear heavy clothing. Why? In the event that the sun comes out and you are away from home, that will be a guaranteed long day ahead. The best solution will be to layer up. Pair up a few, light pieces into a bomb outfit.

Ideally, boots are meant for cold and rainy seasons, but you can also use them as a fashion statement. The worst thing would be a seemingly warm outfit, paired with sandals. That is not only an awkward look, but it also leaves you exposed to the cold. There are several body parts that should not be left out; your back, your feet, your ears and your hands. For some reason, if any of these is cold, then your entire body will feel cold.

The other thing would be to invest in trench coats; and kimonos. Before you argue that kimonos are not warm, allow me to point out that they actually are. You can pair your kimono with a light crotchet sweater, or any other that you may have, and have a great outfit to show. Or you can bank on your trench coats; these never go out of style.

Also, remember to accessorize. Use minimum accessories to bring personality to your outfit, and avoid looking like you were trying too much. I also love to use neutral colors more than any other colors because they are easy to manage, and will go well with literally anything.

Ps: It’s been a long hiatus from writing, but I do hope that you love this article and let me know your thoughts in the comment section.

Have a great week!

 

Why We Love Cover-ups!

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In a world ridden with objectification and strict traditions, we are often looking for new ways to adapt and stand out.

For many women, it is difficult to wear some particular items as they seem either too revealing or are simply hard to pair up. Some of the reasons for this include religious beliefs, culture and traditions.

Therefore, the existence of cover-ups comes as a breath of fresh air to many. There are many forms of cover-ups; from the kimonos, to long shirts, to shirt dresses, to trench coats, among many others.

For the shy woman, going swimming can be a little out of your comfort zone. What with the bikini or mono-kini leaving you feeling bare and exposed. Sometimes a towel can help, as you can wrap it around your waist; but I feel that it gives an uncomfortable feeling. A great idea would be to use a kimono to cover up. You can throw in a pair of shorts if you like.

On different occasions, there are times when we just want to be simple in dressing, but stand out. You may want to go out in jeans and a shirt, but feel that the look is too plain. Or you are looking for a great way to spruce up your office look without looking too extra. With any of this, throwing in a kimono over your overall outfit gives it an edgy and chic feel; it’s amazing!

And then there is the shirt dress! Have you ever had one of those Saturdays whose temperatures are completely over the top, and you just don’t want any jeans or tight clothes because you’re mortified by the thought of being sweaty and uncomfortable? Well, this is why we have shirt dresses. Mostly, they are somewhat loose-fitting and are great when you want to dress down for a chilled out day.

The idea of having a cover-up is to add some style to your overall look; or enhance the overall feel of what you want to wear.

Ps: The bottom five cover-ups are available at our online store. Feel free to contact us through info@fashioniconkenya.com

Pss: Pictures are courtesy of Kuyoh Photography, Eve Woman Magazine and Robi Nai

 

Being An Online Shopaholic

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Shopping online can be a headache! There are so many risks involved with the simple click of a button; and yet so much variety is provided to us from the comfort of our homes!

Many people across the world find the introduction and advancement of technology as one of the best things that ever happened to humanity. But then, why do we feel so disappointed and shortchanged when we actually receive what we ordered for?

Well, as great as technology is to us, it has its limitations. However, it is up to us to take due diligence and be smart about how we conduct transactions; especially online.

Before I started my own company, I used to view a lot of items being sold online, get in touch with the seller; but on the day I am meant to view the item, I cancel. For a number of reasons, but most importantly, the quality of the item as portrayed online does not match its actual quality.

But I also realized that most of the ones that disappoint are the ones whose advertising pictures are lifted from the internet. Take note. When you want to buy an item from an online store and you are not sure of what the item’s quality may be, look for stores who do their own shoots for their products. The risk of having something below par is minimal.

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Secondly, if you are buying an item to have it delivered to your doorstep, make sure that you are buying from a trusted retailer. It may take a little more effort to dig up the details of the store, but it will be more painful to feel ripped off.

Third, in a world with more hackers than we can ever imagine, it is important to let wisdom rule the day. There are so many banks in the world, it is not a crime to have two separate accounts. Use one exclusively for online shopping, and keep the balance at a specific amount. It would be unwise to use the account with your salary and savings to access some applications and online platforms.

Lastly, have fun shopping. Take your time. Be sure of what you want. It’s your money after-all.

That said, have a fun week ahead, and Happy Shopping!