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Lifestyle & Culture

Vida Mahimbo of Tanzania began her experience with fabrics while playing at the feet of her designer mother while she worked. Her father was an engineer working in the textile industry. She was already on the path to fashion at an early age, and eventually was able to travel and persue this path. Vida was one of the 24 designers that presented collections at the first ever Africa Fashion Week NY this past July. Since then she has continued to mission to make Kanga Jeans a brand known world wide. We’re proud to present an interview with this designing African lady.

CP: Hello Vida, why don’t you begin with a little about yourself and your designs.

VM: My name is Vida Mahimbo I originally come from Tanzania, I launched my collection called Kanga Jeans at Africa Fashion Week NY in July 2010

CP: So what are Kanga Jeans?

VM: Kanga jeans is a very popular fabric originally from Tanzania and it’s a fabric that normally younger women cant wear. It’s a piece you wrap yourself with.

CP: So what is it about the Kanga Fabric that inspired you?

VM: It’s beautiful, it has lots of very strong colors and I thought let me try and put it on denim in a cut that younger women would be happy to wear.

CP: So you basically kept the traditional prints then?

VM: I did the same prints in denim with a piece of elastine so that it can be very stretchy and cover the bodies of women very well.

CP: You have established a presence outside of Africa as well and have shown in European countries like Italy, is this something you plan to continue?

VM: This is my goal to bring my designs to everybody in the world, that’s why I came up with my brand .

My designs always have my logo on it “Vida Mahimbo” to create the brand name the same way the big designer like Armani and Coco Chanel do.

CP: How important is this branding process in terms of building your visibility as a designer?

VM: It’s important so at least I can be recognized anywhere in the world. When you see my symbol you always know that it’s coming from Africa

CP: So you have a global mission then?

VM: I’m trying to combine and focus not just on African women, so I’m doing African prints in European and modern cuts so I can catch African people, European people, Chinese, and people all over the world.

CP: Thank you so much Vida

VM: You’re welcome, it was a pleasure.

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