Words by Sameera Afzaal from DYNAMIQUE BLOG
A simple train ride is enough to accentuate the spectrum of fashion and the impact of the industry. Commuting to and from university excites me because in one journey I spot garments from every era of fashion worn in different ways; from vintage to current runway daywear. Intrigued by this observation, I went on a journey to scope out the talent of exuberant fashion creators at Murdoch. Like every tertiary campus, Murdoch University is a melting pot of weird dressers (let it be known that I say this in very positive light). We are all in a way a part of this mega tribe of fashion, whether we like to admit it or not. It doesn’t matter if we scope out an intense color coded wardrobe every day or resort to a good old jumper with some nice kicks. What matters is the culture that is being created; popular culture, street style, modest street style, sport luxe, the list goes on my friends.
Style and culture were the core things that led me to meet two incredible people with amazing upcoming brands. Introducing Kenza Threads and Ebony by Roe.
What is your brand?
Kenza Threads: Kenza threads. Kenza comes from an Arabic word, ‘Kenz’, meaning treasure. So we seek quality and unique pieces for our customers.
Ebony by Roe: Our brand is called EBR or Ebony by Ro. It’s based in Zambia and we incorporate African/Zambian materials and modern designs to come up with fashionable pieces.
What inspired you to begin this?
Kenza Threads: On a chilly morning, two ladies coming up with ways of styling scarves over the kitchen counter. Furthermore as a hijabi and a fashion/colour loving person, I’m always on a lookout for colorful shawls to add to my collection in Perth. However, the pieces never seemed to match my taste in shawls. Thus after surveying around, my business partner and I decided to take a step further and get this business going!
Ebony by Roe: We thought it would be good to have pieces that have an African/Zambian flavour that you can wear every day. We also have the option to create custom-made pieces because we know that sometimes you may be looking for something different or that’s made for you specifically.
What is one thing you love about fashion?
Kenza Threads: I love how fashion allows me to express myself in very unique ways. It is flexible and allows the world to take a peek into my likings! For example, my shawls can turn into a sleeveless top or a turban! It all depends on how creative and bold you would like to be!
Ebony by Roe: I can’t think of one thing so I’ll say a few things. Firstly, I love that fashion is timeless and ‘comes back’. I look at some of the photos of our mother when she was younger and I wear some of the same styles today! Secondly, I love how fashion is universal and different influences from different places all come together to create a certain piece. And also that fashion is an identifier, you can say a lot about yourself (where you are from, your interests etc.) by what you wear.
If you had to describe one item from your collection; what would it be and why?
Kenza Threads: I would choose Ethnic Fusion from the Jungle Frenzy collection. This print is a fusion of ethnic prints at its borders with leopard prints in centre. I love how two different prints can be combined to create something unique and allow the user to play around with the material to showcase their favorite prints out of the two!
Ebony by Roe: I think the one piece I would describe is my favourite custom made piece so far, a white black and green t-shirt dress with a hut print. I won’t bore you with the whole story but when I went out to pick out the material, I remember seeing it and having no idea what it would become once sewn but I loved the print. When I told my sister the idea she thought it would be too plain but when it was done, the print and colours were striking enough for it to be interesting but ‘plain’ enough for it to be dressed up or down easily. The beauty of EBR pieces is that they are striking on their own because of the print and designs, but they can be transformed so easily.