Elegance, glamour and splendor filled the ambiance of La Malindina Resort in Malindi during Malindi Fashion Show previous Saturday on International Women’s Day; celebrating phenomenal women all around the world. Not to mention, La Malindina was recently reopened 3 months ago after three years of shut down.
Italian Owner of La Malindina, Mr. Aldo Menduni, birthed the idea of the fashion show event partnering with the talented Fashion Designer, Charity Karimi owner of Stella Customized Kenya based in Malindi to showcase her fashion designs to potential International and Local clients who attended the esteemed event. Our African Queen, Scarlet Were was the special guest that night. Scarlet Were is the former Miss Universe Kenya 2016 who broke the record of becoming the first Kenyan and only African to make it to a top 6 placement out of 86 beauty queens at the Miss Universe Competition.
On entrance, a hostess welcomed us with a white rose walking on red carpet floor heading for a welcoming photo session as the Photographer dutifully took photos. Stella Customized background banner and red carpet floor themed the venue of the fashion show. Both ladies and gentlemen were dressed impeccably. Majority of the guests who attended the event that night wore Stella’s elegant unique designs making them stand out from the crowd.
Guests took their seats in the stunning restaurant ready for the fashion show to begin. A few minutes later, the tables were full as waiters were bustling serving delicious dinner. The murmur of conversation throughout the venue was distinctively Italian and English.
Heliana Vogli; Italian lady who is one of Stella’s biggest client and supporter, was the MC of the event. She opened the welcoming speech honoring International Women’s Day.
Young gorgeous models marvelously took over the runway strutting around the swimming pool. They all walked so confidently with so much elegance giving justice to Stella Customized classy designs.
First Round was showcasing Afro-beaded accessories from Vera’s designs. Chic and retro!
Second Round showcased Stella Customized fabulous casual wear with Vera’s accessories.
Third round showcased Stella Customized dazzling beach wear.
Forth Round showcased Stella Customized elegant evening wear.
Finally, the night’s showstopper Scarlet Were; Miss Universe Kenya 2016 made a special appearance on stage.
Scarlet had her long black hair tied up in a ponytail sweeping back to her waist, glowing in flawless makeup, and dressed exquisitely in Stella Customized elegant shimmery low back dress that had a thigh high side slit and accessorized with a necklace piece from Vera’s accessories collection. She effortlessly walked through the stage leading the runway like the African Queen she is as the rest of the models followed her lead.
Guests were amused by her presence as photographers snapped her pics like paparazzi. Scarlet gave a touching speech to close the Malindi Fashion Show that explained her crown of valor. The message she sent was to break stereotypes of objectifying beauty queens against lecherous gazes on runways especially. Bravely opening up about her background as an orphan, challenges in her journey to top 6 of 86 position in Miss Universe Kenya. She added that Kenya does not have any financial advantage it was through her own financial effort that she succeeded. Also, she talked about how she started her Shades of Life Foundation and since Malindi is sadly known to be a drug and prostitution avenue, she would want to use her platform to raise awareness against drug abuse especially among youths and empower young girls by raising awareness against prostitution and mentor them to divert attention from ill-fated social behaviors.
“My brother unfortunately became hooked to drugs and the damages completely changed his life. Which is why I started the Shades of Life Foundation to raise awareness against drug abuse among youth. Also, I own a lipstick line called Scarlet Lipstick Collection which Contributes to the Shades of Life Foundation with every purchase of lipstick.”
Charity Karimi – Stella Customized
Charity Karimi a.k.a. Stella Customized Kenya is an inspiring fashion designer in Malindi originally from Embu. Charity was born below poverty hence learning tailoring at 12 years old as a survival talent. In 2012 she launched her cloth line named after her daughter Stella; Stella Customized. Malindi was best choice for her ever since she moved for work 14 years ago and for being a serene town best for creating. Scarlet and Charity happened to share a multitude of things including style and empowering trait. For that reason, she chose Scarlet to be her brand ambassador.
Through online and offline marketing she has managed to get both Local and International clients. Moreover, she has taken part in many fashion runway events in Kenya including Swahili Fashion Week among others.
Charity not only gives free fashion and design training to a handful of young girls but also hires young models for photo-shoots and runways to empower them. Adding to her passion to encourage women and empower young women to embrace their beauty and use their beauty for a good cause. Moreover, as a business woman in the tourist sector, Charity offers sustainable fashion using her patch works as statement pieces to avoid littering. Also, she collaborates with women from the beach.
Today, Stella Customized has recognition that has exceeded her expectations. Soon, she will be attending Botswana Fashion Between Borders.
Charity has a message to young girls,
“You always have a choice. Set your goals, have faith and be ambitious. Look at the bigger picture. Success will come when you are determined to win. Do not give into temptations or let poverty define you.”
To revive Malindi, Charity reckoned that readily available resources in Malindi need to be properly utilized by youth and investors in Kilifi County who need to work collaboratively to uplift the tourism in Malindi.
In a nutshell, everything about the Malindi Fashion Show was divine. Aldo commended the number of attendees at Malindi Fashion Show – 70 guests – as a big turn out for Malindi.
Photo Credits: Rogim Photography.