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Introducing: KIWI AND YAM

By 18:50 , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hey blogfam, OK so you read my previous post on new brands to look out for right? Well London-based label Kiwi & Yam also join the list, except their cultural street-wear is a little bit different.

 Bright varsity jackets with Ankara sleeves, leather and mesh tees with Kente print, DASHIKIS!- Kiwi & Yam clothing is not always for the faint-hearted. There is also a kind of 80/90s, Salt n Pepa/TLC vibe to the clothes, so when you put these two things together it's no surprise that their designs are making an impression in Afro-urban streetwear (if you wanna call it that).

Kiwi & Yam may not have been around for long but with interest in them growing internationally and clothes worn by Wizkid, LAX and Olamide to name a few, I wanted to quiz Misi- the woman at the helm- to find out more

Hi Misi, welcome to the blog! How has the year been for you so far?
 Thanks for having me. This year has been great! I’m loving it so far.

The company is called Kiwi & Yam- quite unique for the name of a clothing brand! Can you please tell the readers what the story is?
Haha! There is method to the madness. The Kiwi represents the vibrancy of the brand and the Yam represents the raw ethnic edge.

...And yourself? What prompted you to start the company, and how long have you been involved in it?
Kiwi&Yam officially launched on the 13th of September 2013, but was an idea in the works for a long time. Initially it was me and a friend, I always like designing and she encouraged us to start a business. I was the creative and she was more involved in the business side of things, unfortunately she decided to leave as she had her hands in several other things including training for the Olympics. Now I run the brand alone but have loads of support from my friends and family.

I love the ‘419’ tee and of course the dashikis! What are your favourite pieces in the line and why? 
I love the ‘419’ tees as well, they are the best sellers. It doesn't have any specific meaning, just a rebellious statement and Kiwi&Yam is all about being a rebel. 

There is definitely a crossover of various African prints into the urban designs. Are there any particular styles or patterns that you draw inspiration from?
 Patterns- I really love the classic Kente print, just because of its geometrical shapes, they are really abstract. Styles- I'm really into comfy easy to wear clothes, where you don’t have to try so hard but still look good.

All of the pieces in Kiwi&Yam are for casual day wear but can definitely be dressed up, i.e a dashiki and heels.

Your clothes have been featured in the videos of  Afrobeats artists like Olamide and most recently Wizkid and LAX. How does it feel seeing your designs on such popular artists?
LAX on the set of 'Ginger'
It’s SICK! lol, I love it because they really represent my brand so well. They are exactly what I’m trying to express- urban style with an African influence.

Are there any other artists/famous faces that you would love to see in your designs?
Umm YEAH !! I have a massive crush on Chris Brown and I could really see him wearing some Kiwi&Yam on our wedding day lol. I would also like to get Teyana Taylor in some stuff too.

So running your own clothing brand must come with a lot of highs and lows. What would you say has been the best highlight and the biggest learning curve so far?
That’s a very good question, hmm the highlight has to be getting recognised internationally, we get orders from all over the world, US, EUROPE and AFRICA! The biggest learning curve has to be to just start, there are so many things I took time doing and procrastinated on that I could have developed by now. So definitely would be start now, you can’t wait for the opportunity, you have to create it.

Finally, what can style lovers expect in the future from Kiwi & Yam?
BIGGER & BETTER !! Kiwi&Yam is just getting started, we want to expand our apparel range and also accessories, we also want to connect with more of our followers through different projects.

Thank you Misi, all the best!

So there you go, what do you think of Kiwi & Yam? (If Misi does manage to get the Queen in a gele one day I will be the first one to shake her hand!). Look them up on all the social networking sites if you want to keep up to date, and of course visit the website to purchase any of their pieces.

Thanks for reading! xx 

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