A Day at The East Africa Textile and Leather Week

The East African Textile and Leather Expo is a highly anticipated event in Kenya to showcase the finest textiles and leather craftsmanship. This year I got to attend and decided to journal the day:

The Expo was held at Sarit Centre at the Expo Centre on the 2nd Floor. Upon entering the expo, I was immediately greeted by a vibrant ambiance brimming with colourful displays and a hum of excitement, expansive booths each with a microcosm of style and craftsmanship.

As I wandered through the sprawling exhibition hall, I marvelled at the stunning displays of intricate textiles and finely crafted leather products. From elegantly embroidered fabrics to exquisitely designed handbags, each booth showcased the ingenuity and talent of East African artisans.

One particularly captivating display caught my eye – a collection of leather shoes by Josef Seibel. Interestingly, their shoes are unique in that if you suffer from athletes foot, your feet won’t smell with this shoe according to Rima, an employee at Josef Seibel. I admire the thoughtfulness and genius of this company.

A highlight of my day was interacting with the different designers who shared their insights into the creative process and the importance of supporting local African artisans. Their passion for preserving traditional techniques while embracing modern aesthetics was truly inspiring. I gained a deeper appreciation for the dedication and craftsmanship behind each piece on display.

At 2PM, the workshop began which offered valuable opportunities to learn from industry experts. This workshop focused on sustainable fashion practices, shedding light on the importance of ethical sourcing and production. This session expanded my knowledge and fuelled my passion for an industry striving for positive change.

As the day gracefully bowed its head in surrender, the EATLW still had more to offer, a fashion show by Couture Africa. As the lights dimmed and the music began, models gracefully glided down the catwalk, showcasing breathtaking ensembles that seamlessly blended traditional African prints with contemporary silhouettes. The rich colours, intricate patterns, and meticulous attention to detail left the audience in awe. It was a visual feast that celebrated the diversity and creativity of East African fashion.

I couldn’t help but reflect on the immense talent, creativity and resilience displayed by the region’s fashion industry as I left the expo. This event served as a testament to the unwavering dedication of East African artisans and designers who strive to put their mark on the global fashion stage. The expo not only celebrated their craftsmanship but also served as a platform for innovation, collaboration and the preservation of cultural heritage.

As the expo drew to a close, I left with cherished memories, newfound knowledge and an eagerness to witness the continued growth and evolution of the Fashion Industry.

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