There are incredible young people all over this continent and we want to highlight a pair, Kenyan sister-brother duo Velma Rossa and Oliver Asike, that created a blog called 2MANYSIBLINGS. We think that they are disrupting what you think about fashion in Africa. They are visionary thinking and their eye-catching style and vintage stores lead to the development of one of Nairobi’s most popular fashion affairs, the Nairobi Thrift Socials. We sat down with the duo and got to understand them a bit more.
Why did you start 2MANYSIBLINGS and how has it evolved over the years?
2MANYSIBLINGS was established in July 18th 2013 begun as a medium to document and share daily personal sartorial inspirations and how we interacted with our immediate environment. We have become voices and vessels for the contemporary and transitional african narrative and branch out to fashion philanthropy through our Thrift Social event. It’s more than the pictures; it’s a transcendence.
What does the future version of 2MANYSIBLINGS look like?
A flagship something… A conceptual something is under works (can’t reveal too much here at the moment);
having spaces for budding and nurturing creativity/mentorship workshops. It’s continuous brand growth!
Deji and I, as siblings, head up Our Friends and we’re interested to know how your work process works between the two of you?
Our working dynamic is fairly organic, with each of us aware of what buttons not to push…
VELMA: I always want more time during the creative stages for us to develop the best work possible, paying as much attention to detail as possible.
For Oliver it’s about the practicality of the project; business objectives, budget, deadlines, deliverables…. the paperwork, outsourcing a team9people with right skills and knowledge to offload the pressures of the project. I guess it’s nice to have someone deal with these things ’cause then creatively we can concentrate and focus on pushing the idea but ultimately it’s a team effort.
We always think about things like, “How can I use street style photography to change the world?” or things like, “How can I use festival coverage to change the world?” so I’m going to a pose a similar question to you because I believe that there’s always something you can do to improve peoples’ lives in the areas that you are passionate about. I ask you, “How can we use fashion to change the world?”
Fashion can change the world because in itself, it is a platform that is used to achieve different agendas from the superficial to the moral sense ends of the spectrum. For us we have been able to do this through our thrift social fasion/arts event where we encourage our audience to carry donations (old clothes, food) for Jukumu Letu, a school for vulnerable children in the outskirts of nairobi, an initiative we took to help these children with little to no means of attaining such basic needs. having a distinct knowledge of how these two concepts (fashion/philanthropy) can work together is important for us and its still a work in progress…a learning curve.
What should we come see when we visit Nairobi?
– uhhhm US? we are so down to give you a personalized tour of the little gems in town that you wouldn’t usually get to see…amazing food at the MAMA ROCKS african gourmet burger truck also run by sister siblings, a quaint art gallery at the SOUK , hardcore thrifting vibrations at gikomba…hidden african inspired jewelry markets in the nooks and crannies of the city.the ‘gold’ stuff!
Photos by Sarah Waiswa