Brian Babu's Take On Styling Performers in Africa's Creative Economy
BY HARUN MOMANYI FOR KUNG'ARA STORE
Kung'ara: You're the go-to stylist for Kenyan media personalities. All success journeys have a story behind them. What was your childhood like in relation to your current occupation and did you ever dream of being a stylist?
Brian Babu: As a child, I loved everything fashion and style. I loved clothes and shoes. I did not think that this would be a career I would pursue as a grown up. I hoped I would be a designer.
Kung'ara: What are some of the biggest steps that you had to take to reach where you are today?
Brian Babu: It is all about positioning. I picked a target audience/ market and worked hard towards being the best at that.
Kung'ara: You've styled international celebrities while working with Coke Studio Africa. What's your secret to creating unique looks every single time for your clients?
Brian Babu: If I told you, then it would no longer be a secret (wink). You have to understand your clients and what they want to put out as a brand. People are generally very conscious about their image, so it’s important to work with them to achieve great looks.
Kung'ara: What's that valuable customer service lesson that you've learnt as a stylist?
Brian Babu: Always be grounded regardless of the situation.
Kung'ara: What is your definition of the modern Kenyan woman from your experience in the fashion industry?
Brian Babu: The modern Kenyan woman is self-aware. She is not afraid of experimenting with her style and she invests in her image.
Kung'ara: You’ve dressed male performers such as Sauti Sol. Is there any difference when it comes to styling males or female or is the process similar? What’s your take on menswear in Kenya and East Africa?
Brian Babu: Yes there is. Male performers are keener about their image compared to female performers. They focus on every single detail of what they wear and how it makes them appear. Menswear is evolving. We are having more emerging brands every day and men are paying attention to style and grooming compared to 3 years ago.
Kung'ara: Where do you source inspiration when a clueless client approaches you?
Brian Babu: It varies on the project. It may be for a music video or an event. That determines how the looks will be.
Kung'ara: Who's your dream celebrity to work with as a stylist?
Brian Babu: Tinie Tempah.
Kung'ara: There are so many young people out there who would like to venture into fashion but aren't sure where the opportunity lies. Are there any jobs that they never thought existed in fashion?
Brian Babu: Well fashion being a business has all sorts of careers including stylists, makeup artists, writers, publicists, bloggers, designers, marketers, accountants and much more.
Kung'ara: If one of your frequent celebrity clients is selected to attend a state function, what accessories would you recommend from kungarastore.com?
Brian Babu: Embody Accessories and Kipato Unbranded
Kung'ara: Do you have a team that you work with at the moment?
Brian Babu: Yes I do and they are amazing!
Kung'ara: What's your piece of advice to all the young people out there who look up to you?
Brian Babu: Get out there, work hard and be the best version of you.