MEET THE DESIGNER, AMBICA
Ambica grew up in Kenya with her family of entrepreneurs and spent most of her childhood going on safaris where she developed a deep fondness for nature and its vivid colours. At a young age, she found herself roaming the local markets in search of antique jewelry and one-of-a kind pieces.
Her fascination with tribal cultures across the globe and their unique forms of self-expression, led her to seek adventures across borders. During her studies in Madrid, she drove across Spain through Andalucía and deep into the Moroccon markets full of hidden treasures and collector items. After completing an undergrad in International Communications, she took off to India for 6 months to discover her roots and find the source of Rajasthan’s rich gypsy culture.
Between her travels, she started noticing the simple, exquisite beauty of a single feather. Her beginnings lie with malted feathers, which she collected from bird sanctuaries and abandoned gardens in India, which were then up-cycled into fashionable accessories.
Feather fashion sprang to life and today she sources her feathers, beads and leather from local Kenyan entrepreneurs with a vision for supporting local communities.
The conservation of the birds from where she draws her inspiration is even more important to her and she is currently joining hands with local organizations dedicated to reforestation, thus helping increase bird habitat.
Her designs accentuate the natural beauty and colours of feathers, which are then complimented by a choice of antique Indian/Ethiopian silver, brass from Cote d’Ivoire and African trade beads. Her signature earrings, ear cuffs and collars are picking up momentum in the fashion world and have been featured in various Kenyan fashion shows and print publications. Today Kapoeta by Ambica is considered one of Kenya’s most progressive up-and-coming eco-fashion brands.
Photograph by Anthony Russell