On Tuesday, (12.01.2016), we invaded the Esnoko studio. Esnoko is a Zambian owned and run, designer brand. Head Designer, Chiza Ngulube founded Esnoko in 2004, after spending three years in Zambia’s banking sector and deciding to follow his dreams. Boy, are we glad he did!
From the first time we saw Esnoko, at Zambia Fashion Week 2013, we knew he was gold. We hadn’t officially met him yet but he captured our attention as his collection was not only eye-catching, but cohesive.
We will admit, the first time we approached him, at Zambia Fashion Week 2014, we were a little intimidated by him, knowing full well that he was a respected designer and men’s style maven. We were humbled, and obviously excited when he then let us take his picture for our blog – and said he knew who we were!
Fast forward to the second half of 2015 and we had attended his NkosiII show (in conjunction with Kutowa Designs ‘Ba Donna’ collection unveiling) and were privileged to be receiving updates from his showcase at South African Ministry of Arts and Culture fashion show in Durban, and then his first showing at SA Fashion Week AW16. We squealed with delight when he sent us the images and granted permission to share them on our social media.
So when Chiza invited us to his studio – before its official launch in mid-February – we were more than glad to invade his space. He was warm and welcoming and answered all our questions about what inspires him, what the Esnoko brand is about, what we can look forward to in 2016 and even the more laymen questions about being in the buyers lounge at SA Fashion Week and what some of the fabrics in his studio are called.
Chiza shared with us the challenges that many designers have in the face of Zambia’s current economic climate as well as the fact that our’s is an industry that is still relatively small. He spoke about how he works around these challenges by being innovative with the fabrics that we do have in stock and keeping an open mind.
What stood out to us most during our invasion was the dedication to quality, the attention to detail, to perfect lines and structure. We were further inspired by his vision for Esnoko, for it to become more than just clothing, for it to be about an Esnoko Lifestyle, and if his blazers are anything to go by, that’s a lifestyle we want to have!
Many Thanks to Chiza and the Esnoko team for having us!
For more info about the Store launch dates and the Esnoko brand in general, be sure to follow them here.
Kahyi & Kii,