KikoRomeo meaning “Adam’s Apple” in Kiswahili, was founded by Ann McCreath in 1996. It has become a heritage brand, widely credited with transforming fashion in Kenya, and mentoring many designers and artisans over the last two decades. To consumers, wearing KikoRomeo has been like being a member of a club, with recognizable signature pieces, which indicate a commonality and start a conversation. Transcending cultures and fashion trends, KikoRomeo outfits have ultimately proven to be a source of confidence and pride in all who wear them.
KikoRomeo continues to question what we can wear to look great, when not in conventional business attire. Looking at the textures in paints, the accidental merging of colours and mixed media create an originality and richness in the textiles.
Our vision is to bring different peoples together for humanity, using fashion and art as a medium. Our designs enable conversations and build wider understanding between nations and cultures.
Who We Are
We love the arts and use our language and fashion skills to mentor and inspire people to be openminded and to earn a living from creativity. The beautiful things we create, embolden the wearer, opening new paths and giving them confidence to bring out their own authenticity. Our items are crafted by artisans in East Africa, many of whom have worked with us for over two decades. We often collaborate with others in the visual arts, literature, theatre, film and music, who enrich our works with their talents.
We are passionate about sustainability; striving to create longevity in each garment by using handmade and hand-dyed fabrics as well as hand-carved trims, sourced from the African continent. Our fabrics come mainly from natural fibres including cottons, linens and silk. The silhouettes are effortlessly elegant, with attention to detail. They are treasured as works of art by our clients.
Ann and Iona McCreath are a mother-daughter design duo, based in Nairobi. Ann has a classical training in Italian Alta Moda combined with a Master of Arts from University of Edinburgh. 24 year-old Iona graduated in 2018 with a degree in Sociology from London School of Economics and holds a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design from UAL Central St Martin’s. They frequently develop collections with renowned Sudanese fine artist Eltayeb Daw el Bait Mohamed, who paints on the textiles.
KikoRomeo received worldwide coverage dressing Dorothy Nyong’o to accompany her daughter Lupita Nyong’o, for the BAFTA Awards in 2014 and dressing actresses from the Kenyan movie “Rafiki” at the Cannes Film Festival 2018. Over the years KikoRomeo has won various awards including East African Designer of the Year at the Swahili Fashion Awards in Tanzania, Icon of Hope at AFDW in Nigeria, International Creativity Award in Italy, and International Designer of the Year as well as Special Achievement Award from the Kenya Fashion Awards. Founder Ann McCreath was listed by Arise magazine in the 100 Women Changing Africa, and African Woman 2015 Fashion Power Players.
Iona McCreath has been celebrated in her own right, as a model and for her sustainable fashion brand Kikoti, including being featured in i-D Magazine's "Sorry for the inconvenience we're trying to save the world" in 2017 and Schick Magazine's debut edition, the 'Power Issue' in 2018 which celebrated leading African female entrepreneurs in the fashion and beauty industry.
Dakar Fashion Week, Senegal | June 2018 & 2019
FIMA, Western Sahara, Morocco | Nov 2018
Lagos Fashion Week, Nigeria | Oct 2018
Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya | Mar 2018
Mozambique Fashion Week, Maputo | Dec 2016
Tribal Chic, Nairobi, Kenya | Dec 2016
Hub of Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia | Oct 2016
MOMA, Joburg, South Africa | Aug 2016
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Joburg, South Africa | Oct 2015
AFDW, Port Harcourt, Nigeria | Oct 2015
Global Expo, Kenya Representative, Milan, Italy | July 2015
MMR, Lagos, Nigeria | Dec 2014
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Joburg, South Africa | Oct 2014
FAFA, Nairobi, Kenya | 2008 – 2014
Festival Kenya with FAFA, London | 2013
Hub of Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia | Oct 2012
Notte en Fiore, Noto, Italy | 2010 | International Creativity Award
KikoRomeo solo shows, Nairobi, Kenya | 1996 – 2019
Many other shows including UK, Cameroon, Seychelles, Spain, Uganda. | 1998 - 2008
Theatre and Film Costumes
Tinga Tinga Tales Musical, Kenya National Theatre and Broadway, New York | 2018
Out of Africa, Netherlands and Daughters of Africa, Netherlands
2008 Major Fashion for Peace show in Kenya, under the brand name FAFA, amidst political violence
and subsequent annual reminders.
2010 Show for Horn of Africa Women’s Peace Conference by Club of Madrid in Nairobi.
2018-2019 Kakuma Refugee Camp, design training & internships in Nairobi.
2019-2020 Kenya Fashion Council board member.
2020 Uweza Foundation and UN Women trained 120 women tailors in 6 areas of Nairobi, in mask
making and fashion business using Whatsapp and a few practical sessions in person.
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