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Celebrity favorite, Kinabuti looks beyond fashion and aims to make a sustainable impact



Kinabuti is more than just a label. It is about celebrating, inspiring and empowering women through very personal and innovative designs that enhance their natural beauty and make them feel good with themselves. It is also about using fashion as a vehicle to promote creativity amongst the young generation and provide them with the tools needed to develop their own potential”, says Italian Designer Caterina Bortolussi, the creator of Kinabuti, a Nigeria-based fashion label which launched in December 2010. The label has celebrity fans including Rita Dominic, Genevieve Nnaji and Eku Edewor who have worn pieces from the label. Most recently, Genevieve wore a black Kinabuti dress for the 2011 Encomium Black & White Ball.

Genevieve Nnaji in Kinabuti

Fashion For A Cause by Kinabuti
The label’s ethos is deeply embedded in charity and development. Considering that the label is only four months old; the impact and depth of the non-profit work done so far is astounding!
Kinabuti is an ethically driven fashion label that uses fashion and art as a platform to develop different social and creative projects, all of them planned and implemented by the Kinabuti Lab, the nonprofit arm of the company. The driving force of Kinabuti Lab is improving living conditions of impoverished communities of Nigeria through creativity, educational training and new job opportunities.

Kinabuti Labs
In December 2010, Kinabuti Lab launched “In Our Ghetto”, an inspiring project which took place in the communities of Bundu Waterside, Eleme and Marine Base Waterside in Rivers State. Twenty two girls were selected and trained by professionals in make-up, hairstyling and the other elements needed to develop a career in the modelling, fashion and beauty industry. Documentary photographers Bruno Zanzottera and Massimo Sciacca captured on the project while Swedish filmmaker Marcus Werner Hed documented the “In Our Ghetto” project.

The Future
The label will be launching a new collection soon and will be hosting the Kinabuti Elite Fashion Night in collaboration with FAB Magazine and Grey Goose Vodka.
Other projects in the working include the Kinabuti Touring Exhibition, a collective multimedia event that will be displayed in London, Paris, New York and Lagos to celebrate the work of all the professionals that participated in the project.

Plot D, Flat 3, Oyinkan Abayomi Drive, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria
[email protected]


  1. SeunD

    April 12, 2011 at 2:46 am

    I get the concept but ennnhhh

  2. toriola

    April 12, 2011 at 3:40 am

    babanla miss road even though i see where they were heading initiallly

  3. Fashion Police!

    April 12, 2011 at 3:49 am

    Africans, ‘Forever recycling ideas’

  4. Sexybun

    April 12, 2011 at 4:45 am

    I understand the concept but the model are supposed to stand out not blending with the environment……..

  5. Zara

    April 12, 2011 at 5:39 am

    Too much going on in the background, you can barely see the designs.

    • gb

      April 13, 2011 at 8:36 pm

      my tots as well

    • Miss Face

      April 13, 2011 at 11:40 pm

      You just stole my exact words

  6. nikky

    April 12, 2011 at 6:40 am

    the models were totally lost, all i could c was th – background. Nice concept but it was a lil 2 busy 4 me

  7. aosgrl

    April 12, 2011 at 6:54 am

    I’m sorry but the scenery overpowers the clothes so much so i forget that I’m supposed to be looking at the clothes on the models.

  8. sexy

    April 12, 2011 at 8:07 am

    wrong moves:-(

  9. nana

    April 12, 2011 at 8:43 am

    theres something wrong with the photography, the outfits woulda looked better in a lighted plane background

    • viv

      April 12, 2011 at 10:14 am

      yeah too busy a background. i cant see the dresses cos the pictures are also kinda small

  10. dewowo

    April 12, 2011 at 8:48 am


  11. Tiki

    April 12, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Whoops-a-daisy. Poor lighting so I can barely see the detail on the clothes, set/background was too busy so no focus on clothing, models are not inspiring at all…I get the feeling this could have been a success, but what I see in front of me? smh.

  12. steez

    April 12, 2011 at 9:16 am

    the background is too busy to really notice the models

  13. fokasibe

    April 12, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Whatever look you were going for, you missed! Where’s the dislike button?

  14. NIRA

    April 12, 2011 at 9:24 am

    I totally agree with all of the above comments. Can barely see the designs,therefore can’t quite appreciate them. A lot going on in the background.

  15. avid

    April 12, 2011 at 9:43 am

    I love the clothes. The shoot was titled “In our Ghetto” so I understand why the setting was as important as the models and their clothes. If the pictures were bigger, we would see things clearer and it might not be such an issue. I want to encourage the designer to keep working; it’s a pity that one photography decision should determine the comment trends, when the clothes are the main point at the end of the day.

  16. Tyna

    April 12, 2011 at 11:05 am

    too much over crowding in d back ground and it didnt bring out d beauty

  17. BigBen

    April 12, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    I think some of y’all are the ones that missed it…lol, often time when u see pple do this kind of “ghetto” shoots, there is a clear juxtaposition that aims at differentiating the models and clothes from the environment, hence the over-colored clothes, and excluding photos, those ghettos are exploited in a sense. Here the creators tag their shoot “In OUR ghetto” emphasis on the “OUR” thus trying to say this is our zone, we exist in this space not outside of it…with that in mind, every photo is an almost perfect fit, the color, style and poses are right on…they did wat most are scared to do, they beat the cliche…love it. This is not an exploitation of the ghetto….Take a look at the last foto on the right, you actually get a sense of a girl hawking goods in traffic…the tail end of her dress, and its ruffles is representative of the items sold….some of you came at this with an outside in POV, try looking at this from an inside out POV too…only the naive think fashion is just a game of color…

    PS: pardon any lack of terminologies, this guy just knows good art/fashion, I’ll leave the jargon to the designers

    • Marshal

      April 12, 2011 at 5:20 pm

      Preach it BigBen!!!
      I have given up in trying to understand how people with not the slighted understanding or even repect for art can get up and criticize it simply because they can. Arts is usually more than meets the eye; therefore if you lack depth and are not rational in ur thinking…not to mention mature and enlightened (not necessarily exposed), then there is a 99% chance that creativity like this one would fly over your head. I cringe everytime I read some ignorant comments I swear. *****SMH vigorously****

  18. BigBen

    April 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    After posting my comment, I visited their site and their description solidifies my thinking of their works: “We use fashion as a platform to launch different social and artistic projects that INSPIRE, EMPOWER and CONTRIBUTE to the living conditions of impoverished communities of Nigeria through vocational education and training as well as new job opportunities” The girl next door in those areas can actually see herself wearing any of those outfits and not feel out of place…finally fashion without sideeffects, a breath of fresh air

    • Miss Face

      April 13, 2011 at 11:44 pm

      That is if “the girl next door in those areas” can afford to buy these pieces!

  19. polka

    April 12, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    the enviroment is overshadowing the clothes.. can barely see the designs..

  20. lol

    April 12, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    I loved the concept especially the pic with ‘Firisika Polo Marine Base’ Mini Depot…..well done and kudos to you….

  21. Ifeoma-adiagwuagwu

    April 14, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    In my opinion, i think they are trying to catch the Nigerian landscape, giving the background a Brazilian look. 🙂

  22. Vikemy

    April 15, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Too good to comment especially the…..

  23. Roli

    April 18, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    the collection and its inspiration are great.
    the photography could be improved upon. Some of the models did a great job i’ll say

  24. soty

    April 22, 2011 at 11:36 am

    yea, you guyz are rite, the background would have been better if they had less going on.

  25. Mbabazi

    April 24, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    the photographer or graphic designer should save this look book . i get the concept they were going for but for my ordinary eye i had to wonder what i was supposed to look at and where the model is. the clothes r good but the scene is too busy.

  26. Bonfanti Fratelli sas

    July 15, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Very interesting fashion project. A very challenging location.
    Clothing and models well-combined, a single observation: too few buttons! We hope to work together as soon as possible! 😉

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