London-based designer Christine Mhando graduated from Kent University with an honours degree, in 2002. After her studies, Mhando gained invaluable experience working for high-end designers as well as womenswear brands and suppliers for the high-street Mecca. With the knowledge she acquired, Tanzanian-born Mhando launched the label that bears her childhood nickname, Chichia.
The Chichia ready to wear range is an amalgamation of both continents and cultures from which the designer was born and raised. The label’s signature transpires from the artful application of the “Khanga”, a traditional east African cotton printed fabric used by local women as wraps.
The first Chichia collection was sold in London’s famous home of independent designers Laden Showroom quickly earning the label commercial success. Each collection consists of an eclectic range of dresses and separates in modern wearable silhouettes and styles in a variety of succulent colours. Chichia’s intelligent use of eye-catching colourful prints in natural fabrics intermixed with beautiful embellishments and intricate detailing makes every piece uniquely innovative and a timeless addition to anyone’s wardrobe.
Currently stocked in independent boutiques across the world and online, Chichia has gained a cult following on the online blog circuit as well as extensive press attention in distinguished publications such as Grazia, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and Vogue Italia. All have warranted Chichia a place on the London Fashion Week circuit showcasing in fashion events such as Untold and Fashion Diversity, exhibiting at Copenhagen Fashion week 2009, Swahili Fashion week (Dar Es Salaam) in 2009 and 2010 consecutively, ARISE Magazine fashion week (Lagos) 2011, ‘Africa Utopia’ at the London Southbank 2012, British Council and British Fashion Councils’ ‘International Fashion Showcase in February 2013, Urban Outfitters BAZAAAAR Pop Up (New York) May 2013 as well as Labo Ethnik Fashion Weekend (Paris) June 2013.
With Superstar Beyonce as a fan and a recent feature on Vogue Italia Talents, Chichia goes from strength to strength as an international African brand that modernises and transforms traditional East African textiles into stylish, contemporary and considered fashionable attire.