On the outskirts of Kibera is the home studio of David Ochieng; a simple room bursting with scraps of colourful kitenge fabrics, sewing machines, and vibrant designs that have made their way across the world.
Kibera is known as east Africa’s largest informal settlement. Home to over half a million people, the community has long been confined to a narrative of poverty and hardship. But these streets are also home to some of the continent’s greatest talents. And one of these is Ochieng, an internationally renowned fashion designer, also known by his brand as Lookslike Avido.
As the son of a single mother, Avido’s childhood came with many challenges. Unable to afford school fees, he was forced to drop out of school at the age of 15. But from this place of hopelessness, he harnessed a sense of strength, creativity, and resilience that has since turned him into one of East Africa’s most iconic fashion designers.
What strikes you about Avido is the love he has for his community. This has been the inspiration behind his designs; the array of bomber jackets and bags that have made it from the streets of Kibera to the pages of Vogue.
Despite his success, he has never forgotten home and his dream to uplift his family and community. “I believe that any achievement I get in life is supposed to impact everybody around me. And if that achievement is not impacting the people around me but only me, I don’t want that.”