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Zeddy Lukoe grew up next to one of the biggest second hand markets in Eldoret. This is where he got his first experience with selling clothes and as a stylist. It’s not easy to pair up mismatched clothes from the ‘mitumba’ pile. His love of fashion and tailoring grew as he slowly started to learn about the trade.

He opened up a denim workshop called Blackbird Jeans with his friend, and their first identity product, was a drop-crotch jean that caught on with local celebrities. Blackbird jeans became the must have item in the Kenyan fashion market. In 2011 they were invited to ‘Africa Fashion Week’ in New York where they presented their collection and ended up being the most favorable designers. More invitations followed and soon he moved to New York and started to grow his brand, Narok NYC.

Has your life been the journey that you hoped for?

I always feel like fashion is a canvas that I express my artistic ideas by how I create, design and style. It's my passion something that I do with ease and love from the bottom of my heart. 

Why New York. NY is the Mecca. For me I've been able to learn so many things inside the fashion industry in NY and feel blessed that I’ve been able to sharpen my design eye and understand design in greater depth.   New York is a big deal for people across the globe and to be amidst the best of the best and getting a chance to work in their field of interest... for me this was a dream come true, as cliché as that sounds. Being around well-dressed, enthusiastic and experienced gents was a wonderful feeling.

I remember every moment like it was an hour ago. Working with my now good friend Tyson Beckford from seeing him in movies to kicking it with him on a regular, that's hard work one can't forget. Fitting Nick cannon at Americas got Talent, for me I was like Kenya has got talent too. Fitting Rory Mcllroy number one golfer right after winning PGA tournament in Florida I mean that just doesn't happen. Dressing Former NY Knicks Forward Derrick Williams now he has moved to Miami Heat, and right after going to the basketball game to watch him Ball out. Such experiences I'll never forget. The list goes on. 

I understand that being a fashion designer is not a destination, but rather a process. Most people lay claim to that position without the hard work that goes with it. For me my life is a journey it's like a book I'm writing and I haven't finished yet. 

 How do you spend a typical Sunday?

My Sunday’s? Good question, I know Sunday's are meant for church but I'd spend it just like any other special day

What do you spend your money on?

I spend my money on anything that makes me happy and moving around doing my RND on my career. 

Manicures and massages or garages and workshops?

I'm open to manicures and massages I think grooming is important it's attractive. I don't mind getting my hands dirty when I'm working. 

 Suit and tie or jeans and t-shirts?

I can mix them up. I think a man needs proper well fitted suit in his closet just incase the president invites you for lunch. A pair of jean is a must have as well and a deep v tee to wear with casually. 

 You can tell a lot about a man by the shoes he wears. Fact or fiction?

Fact. Shoes are the foundation to any man's wardrobe

What are your favourite shoes?

YSL Wyatt Chelsea boots I can pair them with anything in my closet. 

 A great night out for you would involve?

A great night out would involve dressing up in a dinner jacket or tux and having fun with men who are enthused about dressing up and having a great time, I mean what's the point of dressing up and not having fun I feel like one will be missing the whole point of dressing up. 

 What new ventures are you currently pursuing currently?

Short term goal, just finishing all the work on my plate and my long term goal is staying a live and doing what I do best. 

 Any advice would you give someone who is pursuing a career in fashion?

I'll break down my advice for anyone in business.

  1. Do your homework and research. 
  2. Ask questions don't be afraid. 
  3. If you are not ready don't do it go and have fun.
  4. Know about numbers, and have your business plan always. 
  5. Learn how do it yourself first before you involve anyone for example learn how to tailor your own clothes before you grow to out sourcing. You'll have a better understanding of what you're getting into.
  6. Stay out of trouble lol. 

 How would you sum up your life in three words?

Life is a mixture of hard work, luck, timing, and mostly grace. Trust me, I haven’t read the Secret, or watched Oprah lately, but I put it out there and God has been good!

 

Couture Africa - ZEDDIE LUKOYE, LIVING THE DREAM