Latest trends infused with waves of Afro-chic. Styling with each signature strut, Clara Kahwa talks couture with She Has Flair.
“Both of my parents are African, Tanzanian to be exact, so I guess it’s my way of getting in touch with my roots,” she said in a recent interview. If she could trek back to when she began unleashing her inner chic and trendy, she would tell you that it all got started with her fashionista friends who branched out into entrepreneurship in style.
Admiring the boldness, bravery and creativity of Joni McCalla’s House of Jade, Jami Spence’s Love YC and Ms. Jaye by Jaye-Ann O’Connor, she was intrigued by the way they presented their interpretation and personification of fashion. Then, while on her musical journey, Joni was her main stylist and she was instrumental in exposing Clara to a wide variety of different styles to fit her personality. Learning about herself, she discovered her own ideas of fashion.
Today, her style is reflective of her personality: a sweet combination of down-to-earth and laid-back, mixed with fun, sexy, grown and sophisticated too. Right now, she is into African prints, especially those brightly coloured. “The iridescent print or fabric is one trend that is jumping out. I like it because it is fun and there are so many ways to play with the fabric. For example, you can do a two-piece suit, a three-piece suit, shorts, pants, swimsuit, or dabble with loungewear. It makes a simple design bold and fun.”
She shared a couple of ‘style dos’ she wore that turned heads: a swimsuit designed by ‘Love YC’ called ‘Grace’, an African top she designed that seemed to be a crowd favourite based on the love she received from her Instagram family. “I recently modelled one of the costumes, Purple Rain, at the Xaymaca International band launch, so it seems like the carnival sphere may be an area that my IG fam also appreciates seeing me in. It was my first time doing it and I really enjoyed it! So let’s see.”
A mixer of vintage and new age, she understands that there are pieces that are just timeless by nature, but she plays with what’s in and what’s hot, chalking it up to the fact that she is ‘part Generation X and part millennial’.
The mane look
Hair goes a far way in complementing her look: comfort, personality and boldness, and self-love. Clara has been a low cut for almost two years. Hesitant at first because according to her, her mane texture isn’t soft nor does it consist of loose curls, she took a chance at the big chop, after seeing the glow on her younger cousin. It paid off. She went a step further by colouring, going lighter until she found a shade which complemented her skin. “Now I say to myself, ‘Girl, why did you take so long to do this? Sleep, wake up and go! No major styling needed!’ This is heaven,” she added.
And on the topic of her smooth melanin, she is currently using the Irie Rock line – cleanser, toner and youth renewal facial moisturiser, as well as exfoliating night pads. She uses sulphur soap on occasion when there is a bump or few along the way on her road to flawless.
Her advice to women seeking to find their own style: “Be unapologetically you and personify that by wearing clothes that reflect how you see you, how you want to ‘show up’ in your life, and that allows for you to introduce your greatness and boldness to the world”.
Story by Krysta Anderson