China, Nigeria, DRC, Kenya
Launched in 2009 by Kahindo Mateene, KAHINDO is a New York-based contemporary womenswear brand known for its exuberant prints and feminine cuts. Born out of the designer’s desire to create a line that fused the two cultures of her upbringing—she was born in Uganda to Congolese parents, and raised in the United States—KAHINDO pairs contemporary silhouettes with traditional Congolese textiles and fabrics, each collection displaying an elegant assortment of statement pieces in bold and vibrant colors. Mateene’s love affair with color, print and textures began at an early age, having lived across multiple African nations where she was exposed to many different cultures and styles of artisanship. With references to her diverse heritage, she brings a multicultural sensitivity to her designs that feel as relevant on the streets of New York and Lagos as they do beachside in Bali or Zanzibar.
Keeping her Congolese identity central to the brand, KAHINDO also works in partnership with RefuShe—an NGO in Kenya devoted to protecting unaccompanied and separated refugee children and youth. Mateene has also garnered international recognition for her work: in 2011, she completed the Chicago Fashion Incubator at Macy’s Residency program, and was a contestant on season 12 of the Lifetime Network’s Emmy-nominated reality show, Project Runway.
- Heshima Kenya Fashion Challenge, Winner, 2014
- Project Runway Season 12, Contestant, 2013
- Zappos Emerging Designer Program, 2013
- WWDMAGIC, Launchpad: Emerging Designer Showcase, 2011