Kenyan Diaspora running clothing empire in New York City, USA

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Kenyan Diaspora who runs clothing empire in New York City, USA

Kenyan Diaspora who runs clothing empire in New York City, USAKenyan Ex-Mitumba Trader Dressing Hollywood Greats: When growing up in the streets of Eldoret, Zedekiah Lukoye, popularly known as Zeddy Loky did not know that he would one day run a clothing empire that would dress the who’s who in Hollywood.

Loky is the founder and CEO of a luxury brand identified as Narok NYC that’s based in New York City, USA, and is well-known for its top of the range suits.

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Speaking to the Standard in 2017, Loky revealed that he had not envisioned fashion since he was young but rather developed a liking from his mother’s friends who sold second-hand clothes around his home area and started selling to his friends when he was in class six.

“Growing up, there was a flea market right outside my school that I’d pass every day. Sometimes I stopped by the different stalls. My mother had many friends who sold secondhand clothes, and it occurred to me that I could also make money selling clothes to my fellow students,” he stated.

Peter junior Nyong'o and actress Lupita Nyong'o at the Critics Choice Awards on March 14, 2020. Peter's suit is courtesy of Narok NYC.
Peter junior Nyong’o and actress Lupita Nyong’o at the Critics Choice Awards on March 14, 2020. Peter’s suit is courtesy of Narok NYC.

Loky further added that when he finally moved from Eldoret to Nairobi, he met a group of young people from Kinoo who were making jeans and selling them. He joined the team where he was taught how to tailor, after which he started his own Blackbird Jeans company.

He added that at first, he sold, a single pair of jeans for Ksh500, but as his skills improved, the price rose to Ksh2000 per pair as local celebrities frequented his place to seek his services.

The designer told the publication that it was while he was receiving much attention that he got a chance to present his designs at the Blankets and Wine festival in 2011, where one of the celebrities he had dressed introduced him to a fashion buyer from New York.

“She was very impressed. A couple of weeks later, she called to ask me if I had a passport. I did. She told me she wanted me to attend the New York Fashion Week. I kept waiting for someone to wake me up from the dream. I couldn’t believe it,” he recounted.

He further narrated that after his visit in 2011, he returned for the NYFW in 2012. He then landed an internship with a fashion powerhouse, Alexander Nash, which employed him immediately after his internship was done.

He later worked with another major brand 3X1(which he later bought in 2015) before starting Narok NYC in 2013, which he clarified reached the peak of business in 2016.

According to his company’s Instagram account, some of the top clientele that Lukoye boasts of having worked with include the Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri, Lupita Nyong’o’s younger brother Peter Junior Nyongo, artist Bradley Theodore, actor Dion Saap, violinist Damian Escobar, and Rohan Marley.

The suited rider (right) series courtesy of Narok NYC on March 5,2020.
The suited rider (right) series courtesy of Narok NYC on March 5,2020.

One of his most prolific dressings has been Lando Griffins, popularly known as the Man Behind the Mask, and American content creator, vigilante journalist, and artist famous for hiding behind a mask and riding on motorbikes.

He has also worked with actor and model Tyson Beckford who has made appearances in movies such as Addicted, Supermodel, Biker Boys, Hotel California and several Toni Braxton music videos including ‘Unbreak My Heart.

Away from the Hollywood scene, the Narok has dressed rappers during the Roc Nation Brunch (Jay-z organization) in 2019 and has also dressed the New York Giant’s Football team’s great Wayne Gallman and NBA legends Chris McCullough and Derrick Williams.

Zeddie holds the 2016 title for the Most Stylish Male African in the diaspora by Abryanz Style and Fashion Awards and his suits retailed at a minimum of Ksh200,000 as of 2017.

Sportpesa CEO Ronald karauri in one of Narok NYC's designs addresses the press in June 2019. On his left is Sports CS Amina Mohammed.
Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri in one of Narok NYC’s designs addresses the press in June 2019.
New York Giants star Wayne Gallman rocking one of the Narok NYC designs pre-game in September 2019.
New York Giants star Wayne Gallman rocking one of the Narok NYC designs pre-game in September 2019.

 

By JOHN PAUL SIMIYU

 

 

Kenyan Diaspora who runs clothing empire in New York City, USA

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