These Sisters Are Changing the Face of Luxury Sleepwear
Credit: Nkeoma

As children, Nkeiruka Mkparu, MD and Ifeoma Madu would watch their grandmother transform pieces of fabric into luxurious garments for her droves of clients. The Nigerian-American sisters knew even then they had a fashion for passion, much like their matriarch. 

“While in high school, we would design items for our friends and that love for creating beautiful things for people we care about just stuck with us,”  shared Madu.  

Years later, while pursuing advanced medical degrees, the sisters decided to also work in tandem to launch their luxury sleepwear company, Nkeoma by Ivy & Livy, affectionately named after their English names Yvonne and Olivia.  

Although the company is now lauded by celebrities like Yvonne Orji among others, success definitely didn’t happen overnight. 

“We decided to take our passion seriously in college so while we studied for our courses, we also spent time sourcing materials, creating designs and building our company,” said Madu. 

Self-professed homebodies, they decided to initially focus the fashion brand  with stylish, luxurious loungewear that consisted of robes, pajama sets and bonnets featuring bold Ankara print including kente (originally reserved for Asante royalty), and powerful messaging that focuses on African culture. 

The sisters were intentional in infusing their roots into their lounge and sleepwear garments, as Black women are largely underrepresented in the booming industry. 

It was recently reported the US loungewear sector is estimated to bring in about $38 billion in retail sales, yet the fashion industry is still sorely lacking in their efforts to be more diverse. 

“We want Black women to feel luxurious in our clothing, because they deserve it,” said Madu. “We’ve built something that we’re truly passionate about in Nkeoma, and we want you to feel the same whenever you try, wear or use any of the products we’ve created with you in mind,” their website reads.  

In addition to their clothing brand, the sisters also run their  natural hair care product line; Enkay Naturals which touts organic ingredients sourced from Africa and have been created especially for women with 4C hair.  They say it caters perfectly to the tight, coily texture of your 4C hair whilst leaving hair moisturized and soft. 

“I was extremely particular in ensuring that only the best ingredient formulations were used for the products because we as Black women have to be really careful with what we use in our hair,” said Mkparu. 

This attention to detail paid off, and garnered the attention of Yvonne Orji, who included Enkay products in her gift packages for a Hollywood gala event she recently held for her celebrity friends. 

“We are just so happy that our passion we pour into our products is felt by our customers,” said Madu. “Everyone deserves to feel and look their best.”