First fashion

Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya) and Barack Obama (United States) in casual wear.
Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya) and Barack Obama (United States) in casual wear.

Unarguably, two of the most hip Presidents converge in Nairobi over the weekend.

A first of many, President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Barack Obama have many similarities.

Both Presidents are highly beloved, presidential status quo changers, charismatic, youthful, debonair and have super popular First Ladies. In the style stakes, both score admirably, looking every inch the power players that they are.

President Kenyatta: Brioni. House of Brioni, founded in Rome (1945), is the tailor of the custom suits favored by His Excellency. These suits, favored by various influential personalities worldwide bear a hefty price tag ranging from $6,500 (Sh552,500) to $47,500 (Sh4,037,500). His suit color palette comprises of navy and charcoal grey, (plain or patterned), worn with dress shirts and ties in a multitude of colors, textures and patterns.

Casually he favours patterned shirts, jeans and the occasional sports shoes.

President Obama: His custom suits, tailored by the largest U.S suit maker, Chicago-based Hartmarx, (founded in 1911), have captured the attention of both style gurus and average guys. Pegged around the $1,500 (Sh150,000) price mark, the ‘Obama Suit’ is made of 97 per cent worsted wool and 3 per cent cashmere blend material in the style of a two-button, single-breasted suit jacket and single pleated pant with an inch-and-a-quarter cuffs. His size 12 black calfskin oxfords are handcrafted by Johnston and Murphy.

His look — classy yet refreshingly simple, features dark suits, a white dress shirt and a gorgeous blue or red tie (most of the time). Occasionally he shocks us. (Tan suit anyone?). He transitions to casual, simply by removing his suit jacket and rolling up his sleeves mid-forearm, no fuss yet very clean-cut.


These First Ladies exude polished refinement, mostly doing no wrong when stepping out.

Margaret Kenyatta: Indisputably one of our more stylish First Ladies, her outfit selections have evolved with each public appearance. From official outifits to traditonal regalia, her style is conservative with bold colours and textures.

Her signature cropped gray hair has inspired a new trend whereby women are whole-heartedly embracing aging elegantly.

Michelle Obama is synonymous with fashion. Since stepping onto the world stage in 2008, this statuesque First Lady is renown for her glam All-American style, expertly mixing Hi-Lo brands formally or casually. Her main style advisor is 41-year-old Israeli-born Ikram Goldman, store owner of Chicago-based Ikram Boutique, carrying high-end American, European and Japanese labels. She is responsible for Michelle’s eclectically exquisite special-ordered inaugural styles. Her favorite designers include Isabel Toledo, Jason Wu, Narciso Rodriguez, Thakoon, Maria Pinto, Tracy Feith, and brands such as H&M and J Crews.