Who’s HauTe: Interview with Editor, Creative Consultant & Stylist, Marian Kihogo.
Photo Credit: Phill Taylor.
Marian During LFW wearing an Anita Quansah neckpiece.
Marian Kihogo edits her namesake site, MarianKihogo.com; she is also a stylist to celebrities for the red carpet and creative consultant (providing branding, creative realization, art direction etc). She was listed in the New York Post’s 25 Best Dressed at New York Fashion Week Fall Winter 2011 in February. British but of Ghanaian descent, Marian is one interesting character and we were pleased and honored to have had the chance to Interview her on how she started her fashion career and a few of her favorite things! See interview below:
HauTeFashionAfrica: Hi Marian, tell us a bit about yourself?
Marian Kihogo: Marian Kihogo is a 30year old celebrity personal stylist, creative consultant and digital editor based in London. She also writes fashion, beauty and culture weblog, www.Mariankihogo.com.
HFA: Tell us Marian, when and how did you get into styling?
MK: I started styling at 14years old. I accidently styled a friend’s mother and that became my first ever, personal styling client. A few years later I began editorial styling and carried on with both while at Fashion College. The rest as they say is history.
HFA: Bless! How well and how far would you say you’ve come since you started?
MK: Wow well I’ve been doing this for 16years now and have had the pleasure of working with some incredible people so I guess I have been blessed to come far.
HFA: Have you styled any famous persons recently that you think we’d be pleased to know of?
MK: I have indeed! I tend to try to keep my clients confidential as respect to them but I have the pleasure of working with very talented people from the worlds of music, fashion, film, TV etc. Each client is an honor to work with. It is a joy to help them reflect their brand and product as high profile individuals through their public style.
Marian’s Styling Work, Photographed by David Yeo.
HFA: What are the three items we would always find in Marian Kihogo’s bag?
- A camera! You never know when you are going to stumble on inspiration.
- A bright hued lipstick. Lipstick is the way to my heart and it is like a facelift in a tube!
- A few scarves! I inherited my Mother’s love of scarves and repurpose them (from head wraps to turbans) to suit my mood.
HFA: Interesting! You attended several shows during the recently concluded London Fashion Week, what were the highlights for you during LFW, in terms of people, fashion, and creativity etc?
MK: The highlight for me was perhaps the inimitable energy itself that London holds.
HFA: What top 3 designers impressed you most and why?
MK: Christopher Kane for his ability to breathe life into the unexpected (in this case; bolts, sequins and strips of tape). The whole ‘mad scientist’ Frankenstein inspiration for spring 2013 was genius.
Peter Pilotto for proving that print is far from dead, his collection was rejuvenating. John Rocha who balances strength and fragility like no other.
HFA: What are your expectations when you set out for any fashion show?
MK: None. I think it is important never to walk in with any expectations. I think an open mind can perceive so much more than one pre formed expectations.
HFA: What are the main trends you predict for S/S 13 season?
MK: White, white and more white! It has been everywhere!
Sequins. They have been around for a while and the use of them by designers keeps getting more ingenious.
PhotoCredit: David Yeo
HFA: With each passing Fashion Week season, there is always at least one designer whose collection was influenced by Africa or by his travelling to Africa, a most recent example being Moschino Cheap + Chic and Todd Lynn’s Safari inspired collection. How well do you think Africa influences the Business of Fashion on the global stage?
MK: Africa as continent has influenced the international fashion stage since the late 60’s. With the likes of Yves Saint Laurent’s safari collection right to present, high fashion has been continually informed by the culture, people, lands of Africa. The influence of Africa on the business of fashion on a global stage is immeasurable.
HFA: Now, what’s your general take on African Fashion, with regards the past, the present and the future (If you do believe there is a future for African Fashion).
MK: The present for African Fashion is more exciting now than ever. Designers like Maki-Oh (as designed by Amaka Osakwe), Fati Asibelua of MOMO, Eric Rasina and Anita Quansah etc excite me, as their talent is unbound. We are seeing more and more western celebrities like Beyoncé, Solange Knowles and Angela Simmons etc dressed by more and more by African designers.
The future of African fashion on global level is promising! I think with the implementation of a proper fashion business system (from production, seasonal fashion shows to the point of sale) Africa is undoubtedly the continent to watch. Our governments need to invest in our creative talent by building the essential infrastructure of fashion business structure. We need a formal system right from the grass roots level (fabric and textile industries), production factories for garments and accessories, buyers, formal councils for designers, critics, fashion magazines and platforms for government funded seasonal fashion weeks etc). The likes of ARISE Magazine as edited by Helen Jennings, the ARISE Magazine Week and Lagos Fashion and Design Week founded by Omoyemi Akerele (of Style House Files) are doing an amazing job. We need more of this.
HFA: What top 5 Africa fashion designers do you admire and why?
MK: Amaka Osakwe of Maki-Oh for her ability to balance intelligence and sensuality. Anita Quansah for her intuition. Eric Rasina who has an uncanny way with texture. Duro Olowu for his way with prints. Jewel by Lisa’s Lisa Folawiyo for her elegance.
HFA: As a celebrity stylist, if you had to style one of your clients in a piece by an African designer, whose would it be?
MK: It would be any of the aforementioned and the exact piece picked would be to suit the client’s brand and form.
HFA: A lot people know Marian Kihogo to be British; London born and bred! While that is true, others have wondered what part of Africa your parents are from and if you do have any special memories from visiting?
MK: I was actually born in West Africa! I am British but first came to the UK when I was three years old. My parents are from Ghana, I have lived in Ghana, The Gambia, and Nigeria.
HFA: What other countries in Africa have you visited and for what reasons did you visit?
MK: Tanzania, Egypt, Senegal, Kenya and Morocco. I suffer from wanderlust. I dream of new lands.
HFA: Splendid! Finally, before we round up the interview, we should ask you how you combine being an editor, guest blogger, stylist and celebrity stylist as well as being there for friends and family – How do you manage all of these?
MK: Only by God’s grace! It takes a lot of discipline, very little sleep and hard work. However I think when you enjoy something it is always an honor to be involved in it.
Also, the different hats I work are all interrelated and so I find each role informs the other.
HFA: What advise do you have for readers and young fashionista(o)s who look forward to being like you sometime soon?
MK: Dream hard, work even harder, have faith and always always believe in yourself, your point of view and what you bring to the table.
HFA: Many Thanks for your time Marian
To find our more about MarianKihogo.com, please click HERE