Friday, July 19, 2024

Meet designers behind Team Kenya’s official Olympic look at Paris 2024

The official kits for the 2024 Paris Olympics have been revealed, sparking a lot of criticism from unimpressed Kenyans. Many think the designs don’t live up to the country’s bold image.

The kits were supposed to be inspired by Kenya’s magical landscapes, majestic wildlife, and the nation’s spirit of unity, strength, and progress.

The designs aimed to showcase the vibrant colours of the Kenyan flag with modern, sleek tailoring and clean lines.

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There were three types of kits: the Opening Ceremony Kit, the Closing Ceremony Kit, and the Casual Uniform Kit. The Opening Kit is supposed to be colourful and unique, showing Kenya’s unity, pride, and athletic strength.

The Closing Kit is designed to celebrate Team Kenya’s achievements and teamwork, capturing their dedication and national support.

The Casual Uniform is meant to blend comfort with a Kenyan touch, representing the team’s relaxed yet determined spirit outside of competition.

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The Ministry of Sports & Youth Affairs invited Kenyans to place their submissions for kit designs. A total of 114 entries were submitted.

The submissions were carefully reviewed by coaches, players, former athletes, and sports journalists to ensure they met Team Kenya’s themes. The judging panel narrowed down to the best 20 and then to the final 3 for each category.

Led by fashion expert and stylist Connie Oluoch, the judging panel included stylist Brian Babu, model Rue Baby, and lawyer Liz Lenjo among others.

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The prize structure was Sh. 300,000 for the category winner, Sh. 200,000 for the 1st Runner-up and Sh. 100,000 for the 2nd Runner-up.

On 20th June, Sports CS Ababu Namwamba revealed Rosemary Runyenje and Georgia Fernandez as the winners of Team Kenya’s fashion and design competition for the 3 categories.

Mary Runyenje, a 29-year-old who graduated from KU in 2017 with a degree in fashion design, won the Opening Ceremony Kit design.

Georgia Fernandez, a 23-year-old former Peponi School student currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in the USA, won the Closing Ceremony Kit design.

“Designs by these amazing young people will be such a huge source of pride and patriotism. The winners were selected through a competitive process.”

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Mary Runyenje said that winning the design competition was the best moment of her career having chosen fashion design over her mother’s wish for her to study pharmacy.

As the youngest of three siblings, she finds inspiration in her late father, who was an architect. Her efforts bore fruits when she won with her designs and established herself as a respected fashion designer.

“This is huge considering that I am not really known in the fashion industry in Kenya. I feel so thrilled and humbled; for sure, I am speechless, especially with the fact that my design will be showcased worldwide through the opening ceremony at the Paris Olympic Games,” she said in a past interview.

Since its unveiling, Kenyans noted that the ceremony kits were not done as per how the winning designs were submitted. The kits have been recalled for a makeover.

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