[Image credit: Marefu Dress – Lalesso]
Implementing a strategy of focussing solely on producing perennially summer collections combined with visually compelling imagery has worked to instill Kenyan-based fashion label Lalesso firmly in the minds of those seeking beautiful yet relaxed summer and holiday wear. I have lost count of the number of Lalesso dresses and skirts that have floated towards me in recent years when walking the streets of London. Recognisable by the distinctive Khanga prints used, Lalesso is increasingly making its mark on summer/resort wear seasons across the globe. I love the clothes but have to say that the photoshoots have captivated my imagination, I just want to pack a bag and go on holiday now and it doesn’t help that I’ve spent the past week planning a getaway for my parents, having to look at some enticing beach destinations. Lalesso has got the mood just right!
[Image credit: Lalesso Skirt – Lalesso]
Co-designers Olivia Kennaway and Alice Heusser, set up Lalesso after a holiday to Lamu Island of the coast of North Kenya, inspired by the vibrant and pattern rich East African ‘kanga’ fabrics, also known as ‘lesso’ hence the company name. The design duo sought to turn the colourful fabrics into some gorgeous, effortlessly stylish clothing that captures the carefree spirit of summer. A natural design aesthetic, raw talent and the resources available in Kenya also provided inspiration, influencing the decision to set up the business there. Lalesso works with Kenyan artisans incorporating their creative talents on many aspects of their designs from elements such as: swing tickets, beading and buttons. Bringing much-needed jobs and investment to the area, Olivia and Alice were instrumental in establishing the ethical production factory SOKO (whom I have previously profiled, responsible for manufacturing not only all of Lalesso’s garments, but those of other international designers too.
[Image credits: top; Safu Top; bottom; Tukufu Dress – Lalesso]
A pioneering ethical fashion and lifestyle brand that is a regular on Africa’s premier catwalks, Lalesso is committed to uplifting communities through providing employment and fair wages; and minimising it’s impact on the environment. Lalesso is currently one of the first zero-carbon fashion brands in the world today.
[Image credit: Maradufu Dress – Lalesso]
…so in their own words ‘visit the shop and Lalesso yourself for the summer’!