There’s nothing quite like personal service and expert retail advice. msafiri picks out four personal shopping experiences to be had at the Yaya Centre in Nairobi
The Fabric Gallery
A new generation of tastemakers is returning to chintz, the fabric of their childhood. Wangari Mungai is at the pulse of this global trend; no longer relegated solely to wicker furniture and ruffled curtains, chintz is now being partnered with contemporary furniture, geometric prints and vivid colours. Wangari knows her clients’ tastes well, bestowing a sense of domestic nostalgia and comfort that even the young and modern so often crave.
There is a book-buying experience – something unique and to treasure that involves browsing and stumbling into new worlds – that can really only happen in bookshops, where Sherpa guides are on hand to assist you. One such Sherpa is Chan Bahal of the Bookstop who owns and runs the shop – he’s knowledgeable, keen to help and genuinely in love with the written word. His bedrock of Africana has given his shop its cult following, boosted by something online shops can’t manage – convivial, wine-fuelled book signings and author talks. www.bookstopltd.co.ke
For designer Ann McCreath a perfect fit and inimitable design are at the heart of her brand. Ann uses local fabrics, such as colourful tie-dyed cotton by some of Kenya’s finest artisans. She reinvents local craft methods by hand painting textiles or applying Maasai beadwork on raw silk. Kiko Romeo’s one-of-a-kind pieces are individually crafted and it is possible to book a personal consultation. www.kikoromeo.com
Founded in 1952, this family-run apparel emporium meets the needs of the modern fashionista: sophistication and functionality. Its popularity extends well beyond East Africa’s borders – Little Red dresses the fearless fashion icons as well as the bold young trendsetters of Africa. For a truly personal experience, ask about their made to measure service and meet the master tailors in-store. www.littleredafrica.com