CFW Emerging Designer: Nkundwe Kasyanju


Photography by Samantha Nandez, Hair & Make-Up by Nicole Jay, Model – Britt Linn at Red Model Management NYC

Emerging designer Nkundwe Kasyanju is going to be one to watch out for at Charleston Fashion Week.  Her sharp tailoring and forward thinking design is captivating.  Infusing her signature style of modern meets minimalism, she easily achieves a lust-worthy garment that most style conscious women would love to wear.  Nkundwe Kasyanju shares her favorite designers, blogs, design process, and future goals in my interview with her.

What is your design aesthetic?  I’d have to say my design aesthetic is somewhere where Minimalism and Futurism meet.

Is there a particular designers that have inspired you?  There are so many talented designers out there that inspire me daily, but I would have to say designers such as: Haider Ackermann, Gareth Pugh, Dion Lee, Yohji Yamamoto, Alexandre Vauthier… are some of my biggest influences.

What is the concept behind your current collection?  My current collection, titled: “Faithful Relapse,” follows the journey of ‘a soul under construction.’ It’s a voice that speaks of hardships and struggles of a restless soul that comes to find peace in the love in faith.

When designing a garment what do you think of 1st? Color, silhouette, form, function, customer, etc.
When it comes to designing, my mind shoots straight to silhouette and form, first and foremost. My favorite aspect of being a designer is draping new and exciting forms and watch as they come to life.

Where do you like to keep up on what’s going on in fashion –  Magazines, blogs, ect.  and which ones?  It’s crazy how many great ones there are to choose from nowadays, but I find myself always having to go through the following media to keep up with fashion and trends (just to name a few):
Magazines: WWD, W
Blogs: StyleAndMinimalim, FashionClimaxx, Girl A La Mode, The Satorialist
Sites:,, and of course the favored,

Do you have a style icon?  Umm, not really. There are so many different and interesting styles out there. I love experimenting with various ones too much, so it’s hard for me to choose just one style icon.

What are you most excited about for CFW?  Honestly, I think everything! I’m definitely extremely thankful for this opportunity and excited to share a part of me through this collection. But the idea of making new friends and connections in the industry is also a huge plus for me. If there’s anything I’ve learned about this side if the world in the last couple of years, is that who you know makes a world of difference.

What do you think about Charleston?  I actually have yet to experience Charleston. Our last very short weekend visit was all business that I barely left the hotel. I do hope to go around a bit during/after show week in March. The little I saw definitely reminded me of Savannah, Ga and I loved living there, so I’m sure Charleston will have a similar effect on me.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?  God willing, as an established designer with a running business/company that will at least pay the bills and help provide for my parents and brother. As well as hopefully a long list of happy customers.