Why ASOS Africa x Chichia is the ultimate summer collection
By Anna Heaton, 7 April 2016
Yep, ASOS Africa is back, with a collaboration with Christine Mhando and her label Chichia. Specialising in print – heavily influenced by both her African roots and London upbringing – this exclusive collection is no different. Plus, every item has been produced by clothing manufacturer SOKO in Kenya, supporting the community using local craftsmanship. Get to know the girl behind the gear and shop the collection…
Styling by Ruby Leonard.
Meet Christine Mhando
Fashion obsessed from a young age (Mary Katrantzou and Peter Pilotto are among her fave designers), a design degree and several positions at independent labels under her belt, it's no wonder that Christine is now heading up her own label, Chichia.
What inspires you?
'I regularly visit Tanzania, and the people there make such amazing use of colour. I have an eternal love affair with prints, so a great print for me means everything and can easily ignite inspiration for an entire collection. I find travel in general very inspiring, as well as anything from photography, architecture and people-watching on the streets.'
What's the story behind the prints in this collection?
'I was interested in the idea of mixing the old with the new. We had so much fun going though my khanga fabric archives (as well as my mother's collection of vintage Tanzanian khangas). We merged the old prints with new designs and came up with beautiful hybrid prints. Every person is a product of their environment – I thought it would be an interesting story to tell.'
The best thing about your ASOS collection?
'That it’s being produced in East Africa! I also love how relaxed and wearable all the pieces are. My fave pieces are the jumpsuits because of their cool 70s vibes, and the halter-neck dress in patchwork-stripe print because it makes me feel like a total babe – I like to say that I’m my first customer. I would love to see Zendaya in ASOS Africa x Chichia. I'm currently obsessed with her.'
What's been your highlight?
'Seeing the prints come to life and turn into a collection I’m proud of. I also visited Kenya earlier this year for a launch event, and during my trip visited the SOKO workshop where the collection was being produced. It was so exciting to witness the process first-hand and meet the workers.'