This Kenyan, Brooklyn-Based Designer Is About to Dominate Your Wardrobe This Fall

Photo by Courtesy of Subject
You're going to love Recho Omondi's modern, smart and wearable pieces.

ESSENCE: Tell us about your Kenyan and American upbringing.

RECHO OMONDI: There's this sort of double life you live when your parents are of another culture, mind-set, tradition. They were born and raised in Kenya, but we lived in America. We moved around the Midwest a lot, but then would spend three months in Kenya. I didn't realize it at the time, but all this traveling at a young age shaped my aesthetic.

ESSENCE: When did you know that fashion was your calling?

R.O.: It was always my thing, my favorite thing. Once I decided I wanted to be a fashion designer, I knew I wanted to be the real kind. So I went to school [Savannah College of Art and Design] to study pattern making and to sharpen my eye.

ESSENCE: Who's your ideal customer?

R.O.: She's open-minded, gritty but chic. She understands the importance of quality over quantity.

ESSENCE: What do you do in your free time?

R.O.: I love hanging out by myself. I can spend hours alone, and I stay busy—sketching clothes, researching artists, watching documentaries, reading.

ESSENCE: Everyday style staples?

R.O.: I know it sounds like a stereotypical designer but I'm usually in black, white or gray…tees, light sweaters, boyfriend jeans. I typically wear Manolo Blahnik Roritas or Adriana sneakers by Acne Studios.

ESSENCE: Beauty essentials?

R.O.: I use an eye pencil by Nars called Mambo—which sounds weird but the color is the best nude brown I've ever found. I swear by Glossier Balm Dotcom [skin salve] and Boy Brow [eyebrow pomade]. The only mascara I buy is YSL, and my favorite scent is Tom Ford White Suede.

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