Building the Brand: KV catches up with Blackbird Jeans Zeddie

KV: Its been a year since you guys created a huge buzz at AFWNY, what are you guys up to?
Zeddie: After a successful show at afwny last year, this year we decided to take time to learn and understand the industry more and  get to know where the brand need to be in future

KV: How have things changed for you since then?

Zeddie: The brand name has grown bigger, we’ve been able to do more shows based on the buzz we’v built and been able to meet fashion icons in the industry. Right now we understand where we need to be and what we need to do, what the industry requires and the way execute our plan.

KV: You guys definitely have a great buzz going for you, Arise Magazine editor Helen Jennings mentioned you guys as one of Africa’s top designers to look out for. Tells how do you guys plan to keep that going and most importantly build on that?

Zeddie: Yea she is an amazing lady, we met her back in Nairobi and since then we’ve been bumping into her at different events.  That was a strong statement she made when she wrote that about us and we salute her with both hands . We took that as an inspiration and are building the brand day in day out.

Our Spring Summer 2013 (SS13) collection has been creating alot of buzz. Helen has seen the look book and offered her thoughts, so we’re moving in the right direction. So basically we’ve put denim aside to have a feel of other fabrics and its working really good.

KV: Now we’ve noticed that you recently came back to the US, while your partner Sydney stayed in Kenya, is there a plan behind that move?

Zeddie: Yes that’s part of  our strategy, he takes care of the brand back at home while I build on the buzz we created in the US.  This move was necessary  because we’ve been getting offers for shows both here and in Kenya as well has seen us do a double show I did a show in Dallas Texas while he was launching the SS13 back home so far he has done 3 shows n am doing my third show on 25th.

KV: So lets talk about your Spring/Summer 2013 collection (SS13). We’ve seen the amazing colorful suits, What else do you guys have in store?

Zeddie: SS13 that has been one of our strong collection that we’ve put in place with ease after learning and understanding more about the fashion industry and how everything works. We got our inspiration from the 1960s and 1970s styles, plus movies like The God Father , Goodfellas, Casinos basically the “Gangsta” look reinvented .

At the moment I’m building the brand the best way I know with the help of a small dedicated team. I focus more on the creative part as the team runs everything else.

KV: Have you guys moved away from Maasai prints?

Zeddie: Maasai print was a trend that we used really well that was it and after that we made it our signature for the season, although we saw different designers use the same fabric like Louis Vuitton, Tommy Hilfiger, plus many more.

KV: How about the women’s collection? what do you guys have in store for the line?

Zeddie: Beautiful ladies we have something coming out at the right time, at the moment we just trying to mastering the men’s line but we got a store in LA that will be stocking our ladies stuff. We still got you ladies.

KV: So within the past year have you guys seen any upcoming young fashion designers from Africa or Kenya that stand out from the norm?

Zeddie: Sincerely speaking I haven’t been paying too much attention to that, I have been traveling and staying in my lane. There a lot of designers that are coming up and doing their thing, but I haven’t seen anything special. Everybody is basically printing t-shirts and we’ve pretty much moved on from that.

KV: How about established African designers? Who do you guys look up to or who inspires you?

Zeddie: Ozwald Boateng need I say more. I attended the Arise Magazine African Icons show and Ozwald stole the show.

KV: So what’s next for you guys?

Zeddie: Building the brand into a high end fashion international brand and that takes time but we have faith it will happen.


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