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PHOTO: Wandia Gichuru Co-Founder and CEO of Vivo Woman standing in the middle of two clients after shopping from Vivo fashion USA store in Atlanta, the USA PHOTO: Wandia Gichuru Co-Founder and CEO of Vivo Woman standing in the middle of two clients after shopping from Vivo fashion USA store in Atlanta, the USA

“It is literally been a month since we opened the vivo store in Atlanta. And woo! It has been a crazy month, it is been super busy. I have been wanting to find time literally just catching my breath, and really just find a moment to say thank you, thank to everyone who has been involved in the opening Vivo Fashion USA” says Wandia Gichuru Co-Founder and CEO of Vivo Woman 

Snapinsta.app 448247259 1006657870970571 9191926913868521700 n 1024[PHOTO: Clients posing for a picture after shopping at the Vivo Fashion USA store]

It has been 30 days since the Kenyan  Vivo woman fashion brand opened its branch in the United States of America, marking a significant milestone for the East African fashion industry. On May 21st, 2024, Vivo and its partner brands made history by moving beyond East Africa and stepping onto the international stage. At the forefront of this remarkable achievement is Wandia Gichuru, a pioneer in supporting and promoting made-in-Kenya fashion and textiles.

Snapinsta.app 447766290 6168753446582600 4235935485100392120 n 1024[PHOTO: Made In Kenya, latest collection at the Vivo Fashion USA store]

ALSO READ: The Vivo Fashion Group Opened USA Shop in Atlanta: Made in Kenya in Fashion

In a recently released video by Vivo Fashion USA and the Vivo woman, Wandia Gichuru expressed her gratitude and excitement about this groundbreaking development. She thanked everyone who contributed to this milestone for Made in Kenya fashion designers and textile manufacturers. Particularly noteworthy was her appreciation for the collaborated Kenyan fashion brands who responded to her call just three weeks before the opening of Vivo USA.

"The Vivo team first and foremost, just look at me like I am crazy every time I say there is this new thing, this new idea we want to jump on," Gichuru remarked. "They roll up their sleeves and work, and they work hard, and they work long, and somehow we make it happen."

Snapinsta.app 447281810 18298581256093431 6398511468893615494 n 1080[PHOTO: Wandia Gichuru standing in the middle, Co-Founder and CEO of Vivo Woman]

This statement encapsulates the dedication and resilience that have been the hallmarks of Vivo's journey to international recognition. The opening of Vivo Fashion USA didn't come out of the blue. For years, Wandia Gichuru has been vocal about her desire to help Kenyan women fashion designers and entrepreneurs sell their products. In an interview given three weeks before the successful establishment of their shop in the USA, she shared her vision. 

"Now my focus, in addition to running Vivo, is to help other entrepreneurs, and especially women entrepreneurs, develop their own businesses. We are still struggling in so many ways, but unless people hear or see someone trying, it's very difficult for them to imagine what's possible."

Snapinsta.app 445512394 1474724383120079 6063754924182764510 n 1024[PHOTO: Wandia Gichuru  Co-Founder and CEO of Vivo Woman shaking hand with H.E William Ruto the president of the Republic of Kenya in Atlanta, USA]

This commitment to empowering other entrepreneurs, particularly women, has been a driving force behind Vivo's expansion and success. The successful journey of the Vivo women opening their store in the USA was sealed with the support of His Excellency William Ruto, the President of the Republic of Kenya who inaugurated the store. This high-level endorsement underscores the significance of this achievement not just for Vivo, but for Kenya's fashion industry as a whole.

Snapinsta.app 444821088 1403339240373179 4611722314736519112 n 1024[PHOTO: H.E William Ruto the president of the Republic of Kenya and his wife during the launch of the Vivo fashion USA store in Atlanta, USA]

Wandia Gichuru acknowledged the wide-ranging support that made this venture possible. "I want to thank the Kenyan community in Kenya and here in the USA. They drove along to join us and they helped and spread the word about the opening and Made in Kenya fashion," she said. The support extended beyond the Kenyan diaspora to include the USA Embassy in Kenya, USAID, and many others who played crucial roles in establishing the Vivo Fashion USA store.

The enthusiasm of the Kenyan community living in the USA was particularly heartening. As Wandia noted, "Kenyan community living in the USA showed us the love and ownership, they were saying yes, our brands, our brands are coming. Everywhere on social media. It was amazing to see their support."

Snapinsta.app 448102240 992941755746909 1909562694124967243 n 1024[PHOTO: Clients posing for a picture outside, after shopping at the Vivo Fashion USA store]

This outpouring of support demonstrates the pride and excitement surrounding the international expansion of a Kenyan brand, and the potential it represents for the country's fashion industry as a whole.

The fashion industry in Kenya is experiencing rapid growth, with numerous upcoming fashion designers looking for opportunities similar to what Wandia and her team have achieved by opening a store in the USA. The Nairobi Street Fashion 2024 event, held at Karen Village, showcased this burgeoning talent, with more than 15 upcoming Kenyan fashion designers presenting unique and inspiring collections. 

Snapinsta.app 448485954 18282727147201599 2585433849253915484 n 1024[PHOTO: A model on the runway showcasing a collection made by an upcoming Kenyan fashion designer at the Nairobi Street Fashion 2024]

RCFS'SMEDIA spoke to several of these upcoming designers to gauge their reactions to Vivo's USA expansion and whether they saw it as a potential opportunity for their own futures.

Opinions among the designers were mixed. One designer expressed skepticism, saying, "Our community doesn't understand the upcoming fashion designer and even the government doesn't support the upcoming designers. It will take us a lot of energy to be able to sell in that store USA, I don't even think it will be possible."

Snapinsta.app 447766895 830478755113243 2033927235080198505 n 1024[PHOTO: Made In Kenya, latest collection at the Vivo Fashion USA store]

This perspective highlights the challenges still faced by many in Kenya's fashion industry, including a lack of understanding and support from both the community and government bodies.

However, not all designers shared this pessimistic view. Another upcoming Kenyan fashion designer saw Vivo's achievement as a positive development for the industry as a whole. "I haven't met with Wandia Gichuru before, just following her on her Instagram page. I really like her work there is no doubt that Vivo Fashion USA will benefit all of us," she said, expressing hope that her products would soon find their way to the US store.

Snapinsta.app 448122182 453174500780410 6906695945892852486 n 1024[PHOTO: Made In Kenya, latest collection at the Vivo Fashion USA store]

These contrasting opinions reflect the complex reality of Kenya's fashion industry one filled with both challenges and opportunities. The opening of Vivo Fashion USA is more than just a success story for one brand; it represents a potential turning point for Kenya's entire fashion industry. By breaking into the US market, Vivo has opened doors and minds to the possibility of Kenyan fashion gaining international recognition and market share.

For established brands, this expansion provides a direct pathway to reach a broader, more diverse customer base. It offers exposure to new trends, preferences, and market dynamics that can inform and enhance their designs and business strategies back home.

Snapinsta.app 447744606 486110687173762 4251741878668197372 n 1024[PHOTO: Made In Kenya, latest collection at the Vivo Fashion USA store]

For upcoming designers, while the path to selling in the US store may seem daunting, Vivo's success serves as both inspiration and proof of concept. It demonstrates that with the right combination of quality, creativity, perseverance, and support, Kenyan fashion can compete on the global stage.

Despite the excitement surrounding Vivo's US expansion, it's important to acknowledge the challenges that remain for Kenya's fashion industry. As highlighted by some of the upcoming designers, there are still significant hurdles to overcome, including; limited understanding and support from local communities and a lack of government support for upcoming designers.

Snapinsta.app 448197146 1197557204756412 464589342788462657 n 1024[PHOTO: Made In Kenya, latest collection at the Vivo Fashion USA store]

According to a Kenyan fashion expert, there are some other challenges such as limited access to resources and capital, difficulties in scaling production to meet international demand, and navigating complex international trade regulations and logistics. However, Vivo's success also points to potential solutions and opportunities.

“ Then we can see the increased collaboration between established and upcoming designers and a greater focus on educating the public about the value of local fashion, this includes the advocacy for more supportive government policies as well as leveraging technology and e-commerce to reach global markets,” Fashion expert says 

Snapinsta.app 448120279 990652889460671 5068442752551588797 n 1024[PHOTO: A Client posing for a picture outsideafter shopping at the Vivo Fashion USA store]

As Vivo Fashion USA completes its first month of operation, the initial signs are promising. The enthusiasm from the Kenyan community in the US, coupled with the support from various stakeholders, suggests a strong foundation for future growth.

However, the true test will be in the months and years to come. Can Vivo maintain its momentum and establish a lasting presence in the competitive US market? Will other Kenyan brands be able to follow in its footsteps? How will this international exposure influence the development of Kenya's fashion industry back home?

These are questions that only time will answer. What is clear, however, is that Vivo's expansion represents a significant milestone for Kenyan fashion. It has shown what is possible and set a new benchmark for the industry to aspire to. 

Snapinsta.app 447748189 3704608956524539 8323178227665517994 n 1024[PHOTO: Made In Kenya, latest collection at the Vivo Fashion USA store]

Wandia Gichuru's vision of helping other entrepreneurs, especially women, develop their own businesses is now more relevant than ever. As Vivo continues to blaze a trail in the US market, it will be crucial for the brand to stay true to this mission, using its success to lift up other Kenyan designers and brands.

ALSO READ:  Fashion in Kenya- Wandia Gichuru on Building a Fashion Business in Kenya and Beyond

The opening of Vivo Fashion USA marks a new chapter in the story of Kenyan fashion. It's a testament to the creativity, quality, and potential of Made in Kenya products, and a tribute to the hard work and vision of Wandia Gichuru and her team.

Snapinsta.app 446108268 1555246058540383 2435771616143414733 n 1080[PHOTO: Wandia Gichuru speaking at the Vivo Fashion USA store event]

" That is a very good step for our fashion designers and the fashion industry in general. That store will keep our flag high on the global fashion scene" A fashion expert explains"We should keep in mind that we have many fashion designers who want that opportunity, who want to see their collection being sold in that store. The answer for Ms Wandia and her team is to continue to include other Kenyan brands not necessarily the group brands.

Snapinsta.app 445895146 1126277658630778 2939390253597481492 n 1080[PHOTO: Second form left- Wandia Gichuru Co-Founder and CEO of Vivo Woman at the launch of  the Vivo Fashion USA store]

So far, so good for Vivo Fashion USA and potentially, for the future of Kenyan fashion on the global stage.

Snapinsta.app 446196111 7454640264590688 8757430010675406001 n 1080[PHOTO: Wandia Gichuru Co-Founder and CEO of Vivo Woman inside their shop in Atlanta, the USA]

THE RCFS's MEDIA 

Read 379 times Last modified on Monday, 24 June 2024 14:01
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