She is a well-known name in fashion circles. You have probably seen her work in magazines and tv although you might not know that Connie Aluoch is the stylist behind the beautiful stylish people you see. Today on Pearls and Heels we feature Connie Aluoch who runs a Styling and Image Consultancy agency “Connie Aluoch Styling Management” which was established in 2011. Her team is in charge of the KTN Anchors Image Grooming, and Overall Appearance. They style celebrities for the cover of True Love East Africa Magazine, and they have a weekly fashion column in the Nairobian Newspaper. Connie also lectures on fashion at the University of Nairobi School of Arts and Design.
Describe your typical day.
My days are so different I could be lecturing or on location shooting a feature or shopping for a wardrobe for a KTN Anchor. Thus I have to be extremely organized and plan my week in advance
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to work in the Fashion Industry and I was extremely sure of it. I was also influenced by my parents who are also very Fashion Forward and great dressers. My late Grandmother Mama Tabitha Aluoch was a creative. Thus it runs in the family.
I did a Diploma in Fashion Design and Garment Making, at Evelyn College of Design where I passed with distinction. I then pursued a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design. Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), New York. I also did a one-year study abroad program in Polimoda, Florence, Italy. My Masters is in Fashion Styling from the Istituto Marangoni, Milan, Italy.
If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
I don’t think I would do anything differently. Every experience I have had has shaped me and my business into where we are today. Life is about making mistakes, dusting yourself and forging ahead.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to succeed at your job?
- Good eye to spot trends and styles.
- Good PR Skills as you have to deal with photographers, publishers, makeup and hairstylists and many other players in the Fashion Industry.
- Research: Stylists must always keep up and be informed of new trends and fashion players in the local and international industry.
5. As a professional how is it working in Nairobi? Is Nairobi open to what you do or what could be better?
I am so excited to see the fashion scene changing. Five years ago we did not have bloggers, Fashion Publicists etc. so I am amazed to see the development and growth of the industry. I love being a Fashion Stylist and Entrepreneur in current Kenya.
Kenyans are beginning to embrace and take Fashion seriously as a career. We need to continue embracing “Made In Kenya” Brands.
When I started my styling career in Kenya it was a new concept so even approaching stores to give you merchandise to use for shoots was a very foreign concept. Fast forward to 2017 and we have so many stylists and stores that are more than willing to give you merchandise to market them.
The Kenya industry is a fast-paced growing industry that still needs to find a platform or body that is able to standardize the Fashion Industry. We have no rules or governing body for Fashion in Kenya so it’s very hard to create and set standards to adhere to but I am sure with time the industry will come of age.
There are opportunities for fashion buyers and fashion merchandisers, Stylists, designers etc. It’s an exciting time to be in the local Fashion Industry and Africa as a whole.
6. What motivates you?
The fact that God has blessed me with good health, a supportive family, and friends. What more do I need than to work hard and focus on building my brand and the fashion industry as a whole.
How do you define success?
Being able to mentor young stylists and designers and see them grow and succeed. That is success to me as I have left a mark in the industry and built a legacy.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
My family. they have supported me through the tough times and the victories.
What is your favourite aspect of your job?
- Interacting and meeting different personalities as I style them for Magazine Features.
What would you say are the key elements to being successful?
- Prayer, determination, hard work, and consistency.
What advice would you give somebody just starting out in your line of work?
- Create a clear strategy of who and what your target market and clients will be, and then go for it.
- Be consistent and patient. Focus on building a credible name in the industry. Money and fame will follow.
What has been your most satisfying moment in terms of career?
- Being awarded the “Established Fashion Stylist of The Year” Award in 2014
- Being appointed a Fashion lecturer at the University of Nairobi School of Arts and Design.
What makes you happy?
Doing what I do every day. Being creative and styling.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
I like to spend time with family and friends, travel and socialize.
Where do you see yourself in around 10 years?
I want to have built my brand so that it is a household name globally. I will be working on projects both locally and in the international arena.
If you would like to interact with Connie you can find her on Twitter at @ConnieAluoch. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.
Pearls And Heels: Maureen Shelmith