When it comes to island life sensibility, Zanzibari designer Doreen Mashika knows a thing or two about it. Born and raised in Tanzania, Mashika later moved to Switzerland to complete her studies and begin a career in finance, but returned to her home country in 2008 to pursue her passion for design. She was driven to start her namesake label by identifying a wealth of design possibilities within Africa, and by her own East African heritage. Mashika settled on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar, and it was there that her brand was born.
Today, Mashika is known for her ultra-feminine, breezy silhouettes with hand-crafted motifs that flatter the female form. Kanga prints, native to the Swahili coastline, feature heavily throughout her work in a variety of eclectic manipulations and colors. Her luxurious collections have been accredited internationally in the fashion world, and she is the winner of multiple awards from FA254’s African Designers Of Tomorrow competition in 2014, to Accessory Designer of the Year at the 2013 Mercedes Benz Africa Fashion Week. Mashika has also embarked on collaborations with a number of brands, including Edun, LVMH’s now-defunct sustainable luxury fashion house founded by Bono, in 2012, and American retailer Anthropologie in 2014.
Nestled in the labyrinth that is Stone Town, Doreen Mashika’s flagship boutique is a popular retail destination for both locals and tourists alike; here you’ll find the store’s racks filled with laid-back printed frocks, each style rendered from a soft cotton fabric and exuding a carefree, resort-ready spirit.
FA254 African Designers for Tomorrow, Winner, 2014
Mercedes Benz Africa Fashion Week, Accessory Designer of the Year, 2012