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Meet the fashion alchemy

 The fashion alchemy (Photo: Jonathan Okello Photography)

In an industry defined by fleeting trends and excess, one fashion stylist is carving out a path that celebrates personal expression and environmental responsibility.

Meet Nyandisa, a rising star whose unique approach to styling is inspiring clients and peers alike. At the heart of her philosophy is a deep respect for her clients’ individuality.

“My style statement involves reflecting on one’s individuality, comfort and confidence while taking into account the body type, lifestyle and the occasion. Ultimately, it’s about embracing uniqueness and evolving with personal tastes and trends while staying true to oneself,” she says. 

Sustainability is another key pillar of her approach. Innovation and creativity inspired her to put together eco-friendly, stylish pieces, when advising clients, she suggests sustainable brands, explores secondhand and vintage options and considers production methods and materials.

 “Innovation and creativity inspire me to put together eco-friendly, stylish pieces, sustainability isn’t just a buzzword for me - it’s a fundamental part of how I work,” She says

This dedication to ethical fashion was on full display in a recent collaborative project Nyandisa spearheaded.

“I had the opportunity to work with other creatives on a funded sustainable initiative that explored the role of culture in fashion, I learned so much about the rich history of sustainable practices in my own culture and the integral part women have played in this space.”

 Nyandisa's work (Photo: Nyandisa)

Experiences like these have solidified her position as a trailblazer in the industry. But for her, the true reward lies in the transformative power of fashion.

“Instilling confidence in clients through the power of fashion - that’s what I find most meaningful. It’s about empowering people to embrace their individuality and feel their absolute best,” she says

As a fashion stylist, Nyandisa sees her role as multifaceted, with a range of responsibilities and tasks that go far beyond simply selecting outfits.

“Client consultation is key, meeting with clients to understand their styling needs, their preferences, and their insecurities is the foundation of my work.” 

“From there, I  engage in extensive research and planning, gathering inspiration and creating mood boards to guide the creative vision. I then move into the hands-on aspects of the stylist’s role, assessing existing wardrobes, shopping for new pieces, and meticulously organizing accessories and footwear.

“Fitting sessions are a crucial step, where  I collaborate closely with clients to ensure every look not only fits perfectly but also resonates with their unique style and sense of self. It’s all about finding that perfect balance between trends and personal expression,” she says.

Throughout the process, she draws from a deep well of industry knowledge, staying up-to-date on the latest fashions, emerging styles, and broader market developments.

“I follow a wide range of fashion sources, from magazines and websites to social media influencers and celebrity styles, Trend forecasting is an essential part of my job,” Nyandisa says .

She also places a strong emphasis on collaboration, working seamlessly with photographers, makeup artists, hair stylists, and other creatives to bring the overall vision to life.

“We come together to discuss the concept, share ideas, and then each bring our individual expertise to the table,” she says.

While Nyandisa's approach may seem effortless, she is quick to acknowledge the very real challenges that clients often face when it comes to fashion and styling.

Budget constraints, lack of clarity on style preferences and limiting access to resources.

Additionally, citing body image concerns, fear of change, and the difficulties of finding appropriate attire for specific events as significant hurdles.

 “It’s about empowering clients to step out of their comfort zones and embrace experimentation. But we have to approach these issues with sensitivity, empathy, and a deep understanding of their individual needs.

I want my clients to feel good about their fashion choices, not just in terms of how they look, but also in terms of their impact on the environment and society. I can’t wait to see what else we can achieve when we celebrate diversity, champion sustainability, and unlock the true magic of self-expression,”she says.

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