US-based Nigerian designer Bags Africa Best Designer Award

Supreme Desk
21 Feb 2024 1:35 PM GMT
US-based Nigerian designer Bags Africa Best Designer Award
His journey started in his early stages in Owerri, south-eastern Nigeria. Kelechi Emenyonu, at the age of 13.

Kelechi Emenyonu, the creative force behind Dhabri-Khenchy, has woven a remarkable tapestry of talent and dedication.

His journey began in his early years in Owerri, southeastern Nigeria, where, under the watchful eyes of his seamstress mother, who was also a school teacher, his passion for fashion blossomed.

Despite societal views that didn't consider fashion a serious pursuit, young Kelechi persevered. His exceptional talent shone through, leading him to hone his craft at specialised schools in the region. Even as a teenager, he established himself as a skilled tailor, crafting garments for his community—men, women, and children of all ages.

Driven by an insatiable creative spirit, Kelechi pursued his artistic inclinations at Imo State University, focusing on textiles. The unique blend of painting and textile design fueled his artistic expression, culminating in captivating fashion shows and exhibitions on campus. By graduation, he had transformed into a top-tier fashion maestro.

Lagos, Nigeria's bustling fashion capital, beckoned, and Kelechi embarked on a new chapter. He found himself rubbing shoulders with the nation's leading designers, his talent catching the eye of established names like Monami, Kesse-Jabari, and Vivid Imagination.

In 2003, Kelechi stormed the Nigerian fashion week with a wave of unparalleled creativity. His vibrant collections, reflecting his artistic background, captivated the Lagos media and propelled him onto the international stage. South Africa and Europe welcomed his unique vision, with style writers and fashion scouts hailing him as a rising star from an unexpected corner of the fashion world.

His journey continued with a trailblazing triumph at the Port Harcourt Fashion Show Awards and a humanitarian recognition in East Orange, New Jersey, for his selfless contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A litany of laurels trailed Kelechi's sizzling reputation, a few of which include: the Arise Africa Award for Best Designer, 2023; the LIST Designer of the Year Award, 2023; and, of course, Kelechi also emerged as the winner of the Best Designer category in the African Entertainment Award, 2023. Dhabri-Khenchy, the brand he built, has become synonymous with innovative and culturally-infused fashion.

His signature "Uwenjah" style, a fusion of African prints and American denim, has garnered global acclaim, solidifying his position as a leading figure in US African fashion.

Today, Dhabri-Khenchy stands tall as a top designer at New York City Fashion Week; his talent is recognised and celebrated on the world stage. With unwavering support from industry icons like Mike Osagie, Junda Moritz, Jimi Adelaja, and Zizi Cardow, his story continues to inspire, proving that passion and dedication can pave the way for extraordinary achievements.

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