Only a handful of countries have the Equator passing through the land, archeological evidence of the earliest humans and, the 2nd highest mountain on the African continent.
Kenya is a country so vibrant in culture and rich in history, its exceptional array of mammalian and avian species is distinctive only to East Africa. The country’s uniqueness is evident in its most significant contribution to the sewing world; textiles. Although the country’s small scale cotton farmers have yet to adopt to modern technologies, the country is still one of the most valued textile producers on the African continent.
Suno, a fashion label based in New York City is greatly influenced and was inspired by Kenya. Max Osterweis, a Filmmaker and collector of art, furniture, designed objects, and vintage textiles, is the co-founder of Suno. A recent CFDA winner, he had been collecting vintage Kenyan textiles during his travels to the country for many years. His collection inspired a label which creates garments that are floaty, full of color, exotic prints and simply breathtakingly beautiful. They accurately represent the Kenyan spirit, a dynamic nation.
Suno's earliest collection in 2009 was produced in Kenya and carried a limited set of pieces produced from Osterweis' collection. Currently, the prints, still vintage based, are designed in NYC and applied onto fabrics in Kenyan, Peruvian and Indian mills. As Suno grows, it seems as though the fashion house is distancing itself from its well loved pattern focus. It was a welcomed surprise to see that the Spring 2014 collection, presented at NYFW, displayed hints of Suno's unique origins. Origins which featured patterns, textures and embroideries described by Suno Designer, Erin Beatty as,"maximalist African-safari Suno girl."
Click on the slideshow to view some of Suno's best Kenyan inspired patterns from earlier collections.