Njema Helena, a brand for the modern woman with a conscience

Published: 04 September 2014 | by Janine Dube
Njema Helena, a brand for the modern woman with a conscience
Njema Helena at the AFWL 2014 - Photo supplied
Njema Helena is a fashion brand for the modern woman who wants to look good, have wardrobe staples that have a little twist to them and are sustainably and fairly produced.

The fashion company, founded in 2012 by Anne, Cecilia and Annika Ostman in memory of their deceased daughter and sister, Helena, was established and is mainly based in Nairobi, Kenya.


Njema Helena at the AFWL 2014 - Photo supplied


In an interview with OneVybe, fashion designer Cecilia Ostman, said a strong desire to be creative and make clothes is what inspired her to get into fashion.

Cecilia told OneVybe: "Njema Helena is named after my dear sister, Helena, who died a year and a half before the company was formed.  

"It was always clear to me that the name of our business would need to have her name in it. She is the reason behind it and our driving force."

The brand has a classic twist to it and would suit any wardrobe, be it glamorous or business like, and is evidence to just how contemporary African inspired fashion has become.


Njema Helena at the AFWL 2014 - Photo supplied


"Our brand is aimed at women who like to be well dressed, feminine, timeless and elegant. We see our clothes as high quality wardrobe staples, with a little twist."

A big part of Njema Helena's business model is sourcing from local traders in Kenya so as to support the local economy.

Cecilia said: "Investing in Africa is an increasingly important and valid ideology. It was a conscious decision, but also a very natural one."

"Africa is a continent of huge potential; great resources and big ideas. I think there is still a bit of a journey before Africa will catch up to the rest of the business, we are happy to be part of that journey."

Njema Helena had a great show at the Africa Fashion Week London 2014 and the collection was designed by Cecilia, who graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and has designed for international fashion labels including Ralph Lauren.


Video of Njema Helena at the AFWL 2014


About how they got involved with the event, Cecilia said: "We always have our ears to the ground to find out what is happening in African Fashion. We are still trying lots of new things and getting involved. We decided to give AFWL a shot.

"We were very happy with the response from the show. The fashion show went really well and we had lots of customers stop by our exhibition stand."

The brand, though based in Kenya, has an international presence and now has stockists in countries including the US, UK and Sweden.


Njema Helena at the AFWL 2014 - Photo supplied


"We started our business incredibly small, and so we are constantly growing; facing new challenges and playing catch up. We overcome it by always looking to the future," said Cecilia.
 
The future looks great for the Njema Helena and Cecilia told OneVybe that Sapelle, one of their suppliers, is due to open her first shop in London where Njema Helena will be stocked.

"Our web shop is a tiny part of our business, but we do ship world wide. 

"We are also stocked with several other retailers most of whom ship world wide. House of Safi Hadi (US), Mor & Matilda (Sweden), Nubian Hueman (US), Sapelle (UK and International), all of which can be found on our website."

Njema Helena's next event is a fashion show at the French Ambassador's Residence in Nairobi, Kenya and for more information visit:
http://www.njemahelena.com/
https://www.facebook.com/njemahelena
- OneVybe,Njema Helena
Tags: NjemaHelena, AFWL,

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