Designers | Kidd Hunta | House of Idil | Nkyimu | Loga Mahop | Black Pepper | Annabelle Thom | Debbie Oyugi | Fatumahasha | Genteel | Hauz Of Lenze | Irina & Elena | Levitando En Afrika | Megan Renee | Mzizi | Rawan Bahabri | Roar Clothing | Rosalina Tlelase | Seraphina | Tribal Thembii | Tseli | Vivienne Taa |
Little did Vivienne Taa know that losing her coveted job would be a blessing. At the time, her world was turned on its head and the marketing pro had no idea what her next steps would be. But as the expression goes, when one door closes, another opens. In Vivienne’s case, that second door led surprisingly to the launch of an edgy ready-to-wear fashion label.
“Although I didn’t think it at the time, losing that job turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. There was many a sleepless night where I lay awake trying to figure out what I would do. But if I hadn’t been laid off, I’d still be content working in a secure corporate position and all that has come to pass in the last year would never have been. I can’t even begin to imagine that!” she laughs.
Three years earlier, while working for the airline, Vivienne had enrolled in the Buruburu Institute of Fine Arts to study fashion design mostly for enjoyment and to improve her dressmaking skills. Soon after, she started making clothes for herself using bold and vibrant Ankara prints for fun. Her self-made wardrobe proved very popular with friends who kept asking her to make similar designs. Once she was laid off, she finally had the time to fulfill these requests while looking for a job.
“I was always flattered by the positive compliments about my designs but felt my friends were just indulging me. I never took it seriously until the day one brought some fabric, paid a deposit, and asked me to make her a dress. After that, the demand just kept growing to a point where I had to enlist help and realized this had real potential as a business.”
Within one short year, Vivienne Taa Fashion House has grown to a team of seven. Drawing inspiration from African culture, music and art, the fashion label designs both women and men’s wear and accessories, with a focus on custom-design, workmanship and attention to detail. Vivienne has been strict with the budget and pumps all profits back into the business. Ever cautious, she’s not seeking an investor yet as she believes in progressive growth. The team is still working out of her workshop but currently looking for a larger space following a spate of recent successes.