African royalty at Tribal Chic (Photo: Elvis Ogina/ Standard)

The energy was palpable as we took our seats - the entire room abuzz for the unveiling of the designer’s latest haute couture collection.

The style elite gathered under the crystal chandeliers, glasses of champagne in hand.

One by one, each look proved more spectacular than the last - intricate hand-beaded dresses in vibrant colours, feathered capes that commanded attention, tailored suits cut from the finest fabrics.

The 13th annual Tribal Chic took place at The Tribe Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, a highly anticipated fashion and cultural event that did not disappoint.

After last year’s focus on sustainable fashion, the 2024 Tribal Chic returns with another thought-provoking theme - African Royalty.

This follows a successful 2023 show that showed exclusive eco-friendly pieces from designers committed to ethics and sustainability like Sors Studio, Wildlife Works and Aulgah Nato.

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Building on that foundation, this year’s event turned the spotlight to African heritage and cultures through the lens of royalty.

The hotel transformed into a modern-day palace, providing the perfect backdrop for some of Africa’s most talented designers to unveil their regal new collections.

Afrowema, Aulgah Nato, 1407 Style Safarah Designs, Nashipai Leather and Bana the brand graced the event with jaw-dropping collections.

An exciting partnership, this year’s Tribal Chic included collections from seven up-and-coming designers mentored through the British Council’s Creative DNA initiative.

The featured talent - Okana, Itikadi, Reinas Gowns, Wakianda, Aert Fashion, Ankole Luxury, and Kiarie Afrika - represents the event’s dedication to spotlighting emerging names in African fashion.

These designers have honed their skills and businesses with training from the Creative DNA program, and Tribal Chic provided them with a prestigious platform to unveil their latest work to key industry players and audiences.

“Tribal Chic transcends the conventional fashion event,” said Shamim Ehsani, Director of Tribe Hotels Group.

“It’s a cross-cultural exchange, spotlighting the ingenuity of Africa’s creative sector.”

Mike Mwangi, General Manager of Tribe Hotel, added: “We aim to craft unforgettable experiences that encapsulate the artistry, heritage, and dynamism of Nairobi for our patrons. We want to be the quintessential Kenyan destination.”

Fashion enthusiasts can look forward to the next Tribal Chic in February 2025 for another lively celebration of emerging and established African design.