Allen the Dapper
Allen Igatanyi (a.k.a. Allen the Dapper) is a young stylist and fashion designer born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. After completing high school, Allen started his education in Buru Buru Institute of Fine Arts with a goal of becoming a professional fashion designer and a dream of one day collaborating with big international fashion brands.
Glitter Trotter: Hi Allen! So, tell us, when did you start designing clothes?
Allen: Yeah, hi! I started designing clothes in 2015. That’s actually when I came up with my brand called FALA Wear: Fashionable African Latest Attire.
GT: Wow, I would never have guessed FALA was an abbreviation. I thought FALA was short for Fella as in men, and men’s clothes. Now that I am thinking about it, I mostly see you modeling men’s clothes. Do you only design for men?
A: No, definitely not. I design for people, who want to stand out in the crowd, regardless whether they are men or women. You know, the fashion scene in Kenya is mostly based on our culture and traditions, which is cool. But when it comes to youths, I think they get inspired by international artists and international culture, and some just get lost in this “globalization” trend, which makes everyone look the same. This is one thing I would like to change through my work.
GT: Changing fashion trends is a big undertaking. You need a lot of inspiration to keep going. Where do you get your ideas from?
A: My inspiration has to do with the environment around me, people’s culture, lifestyles. All ideas come from my immediate surrounding. I like thinking about how I can make people I meet look unique in what they wear. This is what inspired me to start my work in fashion and that’s what keeps me going.
GT: So, how would you describe the style of your designs? I get a kind of The Godfather vibe. Am I right?
A: I really don’t want to box myself into one particular style. But If you have to insist, I think it’s more of The Great Gatsby style – classy and just a bit extra.
GT: I love it! And by the way, what are some of the things you love? That is, aside from your own designs.
A: I love music. If you meet me in the street, I will always have my earphones on listening to something.
GT: Well, we hope you do take the earphones off when you are crossing the street!
A: I sure do, safety first – music second. And since we are talking about likes and dislikes, I really dislike dishonest people. Liars are a major turn off.
GT: Agreed! And our time is up. Well done!
A: Thank you!