Michael Mwaura aka Mike Mwa is a fashion model, stylist and fashion influencer. The self-proclaimed professor of style also runs an eponymous men’s clothing brand.
The fashionista spoke to People Daily about his fashion journey.
When did your interest in fashion start?
I discovered my fashion sense from styling some of my friends and my siblings. I started with my sister and over time grew my styling brand.
I have always had an interest in fashion ever since I was young. I started to showcase my fashion looks on my social media pages in 2017 and started my slow and steady growth from there.
What comes first, modelling, styling or influencing?
Styling comes first to me. I really love styling people. I love playing around with colours and textures.
And since you have to be your biggest fan, I love styling myself and then modelling the different styled looks.
Influencing follows last, as it only comes with the addition of value to other people’s lives.
You have to have something you want to impart in others. For me, it is the fashion knowledge I have accrued over the years.
Where do you draw your style inspiration?
I get my style inspiration from a lot of sources, but mostly from YouTube, Instagram, and Google.
There are countless of ideas everywhere, especially in this age we are in; the age of information.
Be open to learn and experiment and you will eventually find a fashion style that is entirely your own.
What does fashion and image mean to you?
Fashion is very important. It is how you express your personality in a visual way for the world to see.
Image is an amalgamation of fashion, personality and other non-visual elements such as confidence and how you carry yourself.
Fashion and image can be leveraged for good. You can decide how you want to be perceived and curate an image to that end.
How then can you describe your style?
I would describe my style as simple and elegant. For me, simplicity is key. My fashion has evolved a lot.
There is a time I was into colour and really loved the colour-blocking trend. I have evolved into a simpler and more muted style where I still love colour, but I would rather stay in one colour scheme rather than colour block.
Do you own a fashion item that you love above any other?
Yes I do. My Alexander McQueens sneakers without a doubt. Every stylist and fashionista should have at least a pair of plain black and white sneakers. They go well with any outfit, be it a smart casual outfit or an official get-up.
What is your one fashion pet peeve?
Those bright coloured and huge logos on T-shirts is one of my fashion pet peeves. What happened to a simple white or black tee?
Which Kenyan fashion brands do you like?
Cittifficial Klothing is one of my favourite Kenyan brands. I do not own any of their items though, but I am planning to buy something from them soon.
I love the cuts on their bespoke suits. They have various suit styles that are timeless and legendary.
What items do you wear to compliment your outfits?
My accessories. I use them to add my own personal flair to my outfits. I love accessorising.
I normally advise my styling clients to always accessorise albeit with minimal accessories such as watches, eyewear, or even bracelets.
Both locally and internationally, do you have style icons that you look up to?
I have numerous style icons I look up to. Locally it’s Collins Dominic, Tailor 001, Filbert Mkwiche, Boaz Hosea, Eli Mwenda and Clyde Ray.
Internationally, it has to be Sergio Ines, Alex Costa, Jose Zuniga, Mr Audrey Lunda, Mr Passy and Blake Scott among others.
What’s that one styling or fashion tip can you share with our audiences?
Minimal is classy. Keep it classy; it never goes out of fashion. If you are confused with colours or accessories, remember that less is more. Always err on the side of the minimal.
What would you tell someone starting out and keen on becoming a fashion influencer?
Control yourself, alter your thinking and delete negativity. Hold the vision and trust the process.
Expose yourself and your passion to the masses for fashion by posting on social media, remember that nothing is off the limits if you love colour, texture and photography.
Just go for it and discover your own niche. Remember to always be yourself and remain true to that.