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HomeWealthWilliam Kitheka: Mukuru Kwa Reuben Fashion Designer Making Up To Ksh 180K...

William Kitheka: Mukuru Kwa Reuben Fashion Designer Making Up To Ksh 180K Per Month Selling Unique Collections

William Kitheka is the founder of Vaa KE, a boutique clothing brand which has been in business for over four years.

From his shop in Mukuru Kwa Reuben in Nairobi County, he designs unique clothes using thrifted and newly acquired fabrics.

Kitheka describes this as a way of educating people about the importance of recycling and doing away with fast fashion.

Here is his story as told by WoK.

Following the completion of his secondary school education, Kitheka started selling second hands clothes along Mombasa Road.

Fortunately for him, he had access to free WiFi and he would watch videos online on how to make clothes.

It was then when he joined Ruben Centre Vocational School to pursue tailoring, after which he established Vaa KE after graduating.

Over the years, Vaa KE has designed unique designs including the kimono which appears to be their signature piece.

In an interview with Nation, Kitheka also mentioned kipepeo which is inspired by the traditional male Nigerian gown.

The fashion designer explained that he has gone hard on using upcycled fabrics in a bid to reduce fashion waste.

“We blend waste fabrics from other countries to give them a second chance in the fashion world,” he stated.

While Kitheka is set to launch a new collection soon, his previous collection was priced at Ksh 8,500 and Ksh 12,500 per piece.

He has dressed high-flying media personalities including CNN Correspondent Larry Madowo and celebrated actress Patricia Kihoro.

Internationally, he has worked with poet Gufy Dox, singer Tina Ador, actor-cum-musician Grace Wacuka and American musician Anthony Hamilton.

Kitheka who makes most business from referrals and word of mouth also explained his decision to set up his shop in the slums.

“I remained here so I can have an impact the youth in Mukuru. Everyone wants to make it big out there, but why not make it from here too?

“You can sit in a global market through the online community right from where you are. You can work from anywhere in the world,” he said.

Katheka mentioned that he experiences some challenges including the capacity to run a business and the market.

“My fabrics are very expensive and the markets I want to go to are also expensive to access,” he mentioned.

He credits his success in the business to his creativity and uniqueness.

“We don’t do shortcuts. With the thrift fabric, we may have two but rarely, if ever, three of the same. We look for something unique and blend our fabrics. And of course, our designs are cut to measure, not here for fast clothes that people easily get bored with

“But we also don’t want to be too loud. We are fighting for that sweet spot of functionality and aesthetic. We don’t want to commercialise our products but understand we also need to sell.It is a delicate balance,” he said.

Kitheka looks up to fashion designers Kiko Romeo and David Avido.