After completing fashion design studies in Rome, followed by years working as a designer in Barcelona, Scottish born Ann McCreath took a three-month break doing aid work in Kenya. Finding it fascinating, she stayed on for 3 years, before deciding to go back to her profession and do trade instead of aid.
So in 1996 with a desire to help create jobs in rural areas and make unique, high quality products for retail Ann launched her own fashion house under the name “KikoRomeo”, which means “Adam’s Apple” in Kiswahili.. Hoping Kenyans would take pride in African-inspired contemporary fashion, and promote their economy through buying locally made fashion, she set about making ethically sound products with inputs from community artisans and women’s groups, which she retailed through her own garage shop. Now 18 years on KikoRomeo is a household name. Located in the up market Yaya shopping centre of Nairobi, the shop also acts as a venue for #FashionFocus mentoring sessions for young creatives, which she runs free of charge every week. KikoRomeo is the fashion leader in Kenya, having dressed Kenya’s A list and international clients for nearly two decades.
Ann has won many awards for her work in fashion and peace building, and was listed in the “Top 100 Women Influencing Africa” by Arise Magazine Read the Arise article , as well as being a finalist in the Ethical Fashion Forum Source Awards 2012 for “Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Fashion”. She is Chair of FAFA (Festival of African Fashion & Arts), which she co-founded in 2008 to produce “Fashion for Peace”, and is currently the Kenya Coordinator for Fashion Revolution Day.