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01 Alternative Fashion Capitals


Five Alternative Stars in the World of Fashion Capitals

Design, Guide

Words Vidula KotianDate 26 June 2024

Vivienne Westwood famously said, “You have a more interesting life if you wear impressive clothes,” and we wholeheartedly agree.

Enthusiasts of street style galleries worldwide, we’ve grown to appreciate the distinctive styles of locations beyond the traditional fashion capitals of London, New York, and Paris. Yes, we’re looking at you Tbilisi, Berlin, Copenhagen, and Nairobi. Below, we offer a glimpse into these alternative fashion capitals through the eyes of their stylish residents.

Rogers Ouma, Narobi

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Rogers Ouma is a Kenyan photographer, cinematographer and creative director

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His fashion portraiture is often warmly lit by the East African sun

Earlier this year, the vibrant Kenyan capital made headlines for hosting the second edition of Kibera Fashion Week in the city’s largest slum. Kenyan photographer, cinematographer, and creative director Rogers Ouma is at the forefront of the neo-African narrative, capturing the continent's evolution through cutting-edge fashion documentaries. He shares his insider tips for the city.


What’s your favorite spot in Nairobi to find unique fashion pieces?

I highly recommend exploring Studio 18. It’s a fashionista’s paradise, offering a plethora of trendy boutiques and concept stores, all showcasing the incredible creations of local designers.

Describe the city’s fashion vibe.

It’s a melting pot of creativity, where boldness and innovation collide to create fashion-forward trends. The city’s style enthusiasts are never afraid to take risks, which makes for an exciting and dynamic atmosphere.

What are your favorite local brands and designers?

Speaking of local designers, there are a few that have stolen my heart. Sevaria, Crafted Nairobi, and Akiba Studios are names that instantly come to mind. Their designs are not only exquisite but also embody the spirit of Nairobi's fashion scene. Whether you're looking for bold prints, innovative styles, or energizing colors, these designers have got you covered.

04A Alternative Fashion Capitals 04B Alternative Fashion Capitals 04C Alternative Fashion Capitals

The Tribe Hotel's annual Tribal Chic is a highly anticipated fashion and cultural event.

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    It’s a lively celebration of emerging and established African design.

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    Each year features a unique theme, with previous themes including sustainability and African royalty.

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    Tribal Chic won The Asian Weekly Achievers Awards 2024 for the Best Fashion Event of the Year.

The Tribe Hotel's annual Tribal Chic is a highly anticipated fashion and cultural event.

04A Alternative Fashion Capitals

It’s a lively celebration of emerging and established African design.

04B Alternative Fashion Capitals

Each year features a unique theme, with previous themes including sustainability and African royalty.

04C Alternative Fashion Capitals

Tribal Chic won The Asian Weekly Achievers Awards 2024 for the Best Fashion Event of the Year.

Jina Han, Seoul

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Jina Han in one of her favorite local brands, Siren Dogam

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06B Alternative Fashion Capitals
06C Alternative Fashion Capitals

Seoul’s fashion scene, a testament to South Korea’s cultural impact worldwide—think K-drama and K-pop—is celebrated for its playfulness and eclecticism. Digital creator Jina Han, who began her fashion journey in high school, now commands a dedicated following. Her magazine, j.h., extends her unique aesthetic to travel and design. We sought her insights on her hometown.


Your favorite neighborhood in Seoul.

I love Seochon, as it is a place where the traditional meets the contemporary. Here, traditional “Hanok” architecture coexists with young designer showrooms and trendy coffee shops. You are right in the middle of both culture and nature, as you can take a leisurely stroll through the small streets lined with artisan shops and end up dipping your toes in the stream at the Suseongdong Valley or hiking up the Inwangsan Mountain.

What are your favorite South Korean brands?

Currently, I have two favorites: Siren Dogam—an up-and-coming womenswear brand that uses playful silhouettes and colors. The designs are always flattering and serve as wearable statement pieces. The brand isn't dictated by trends but is instead inspired by the founder, Jee Kim’s personal taste. She creates pieces that are eye-catching and unique, yet versatile enough to be worn across seasons—a rare combination to find.

Another favorite is Umber Post Past by Jaden Cho. The pieces are incredibly delicate and unique, and the materials feel truly luxurious. Each piece of clothing is like a work of art. For example, I recently purchased a silk coat hand-dyed with a technique that uses salt to create a random pattern on the fabric. The head designer focuses on each detail with incredible precision and is paving the way for a new interpretation of Korean couture with his namesake label, Jaden Cho.

Describe Seoul’s fashion vibe in three words.

Fast-paced, youthful, unique.

Marie Wez, Berlin

09 Alternative Fashion Capitals

Marie Wez is a stylist, art director, and writer

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08 Alternative Fashion Capitals

Wez at one of her favorite vintage shops, Ironic Gallery

Scheduled for early July, Berlin Fashion Week celebrates its commitment to being free, inclusive, and creative. Amid the city’s boldly rebellious street looks, stylist, art director, and writer Marie Wez champions a minimalist approach to consumption by promoting thrifted vintage treasures. Below, Wez shares her take on Berlin.


You’re a storyteller. What story does your style narrate about you?

I really don’t think much about the things I wear, but rather how they feel to me. I like a big bag, because I always carry so much stuff with me: a book, a notebook, and probably another layer because Berlin weather is unpredictable. I wear lots of jewelry—every piece has a sentimental or spiritual meaning to me. I like to collect things that speak to me. I’d say 90% of my wardrobe is thrifted or vintage. So maybe my style says I’m a practical witch with hoarding tendencies?

Name 3 of your favorite thrift stores in Berlin.

Ironic Gallery, Copmeifyoucan, and Sand Archivio. Also, flea markets.

How do you feel about Berlin’s creative scene?

The inspiring aspect of Berlin has always been its people. The creative scene here is small and far less competitive. This means that everyone’s sending jobs to each other or collaborating in some way. Many creatives in Berlin are multitalented. You might meet a DJ who cooks, a weaver who also makes ceramics, or an art director who runs a bar and designs sets. People here creatively navigate making a living but also don’t shy away from just trying things out and pursuing whatever they feel like doing.

Hanna Stefansson, Copenhagen

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Hanna Stefansson works as a creative director, travel writer and photographer

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At an event with Vogue Scandinavia

Copenhagen, the birthplace of Scandi trends such as quintessential denim and sneaker pairings and cozy, hygge-inspired outerwear, showcases its distinctive street style to full effect during Copenhagen Fashion Week at the start of August. We spoke with creative director, travel writer, and photographer Hanna Stefansson, whose beautiful, colorful, and uniquely humorous style has garnered a vast following, to get her insights on her adopted home city.


What are your favorite local fashion brands?

Saks Potts, MKDT Studio, and Skall

What are the coolest after-party spots to hang out at during Copenhagen Fashion Week?

I'm afraid I'm the wrong person to ask. I focus on the days during Fashion Week and hurry home to my kids after the last show. However, three of my current favorite Italian places are Mangia, Piola, and Locale21.

What do you think will be the dominant trend on the streets of Copenhagen?

Everything that feels like circa 2009.

Describe Copenhagen’s fashion vibe in three words.

Effortless, creative, and inspiring. 

Irakli Rusadze, Tbilisi

14 Alternative Fashion Capitals

Rusadze’s distinctive pattern-cutting and tailoring form the basis of his designs

13 Alternative Fashion Capitals

Irakli Rusadze is the creative director of the Tbilisi-based fashion brand SITUATIONIST

The Georgian capital’s street style is as wildly imaginative and fresh as the city itself. Irakli Rusadze, the creative director of the Tbilisi-based fashion brand SITUATIONIST, is known for his distinctive pattern-cutting and tailoring, alongside a desire to challenge “post-Soviet” stereotypes and reflect on contemporary social issues in Georgia. Here are his top tips for the city.


Describe a night out in Tbilisi.

For starters, I would go eat and have a drink with my friends at Shavi Lomi, Rooms, Stamba, or Unfound Doors. I would probably continue the party in one of the bars on Vashlovani Street and finish my night in Bassiani.

Which sustainable Georgian fashion brands do you admire?

I really appreciate the vision of Simon Machabeli. I also think the young generation of designers and artists in Tbilisi are doing a great job and I can't wait to see them evolve.

Describe Tbilisi’s fashion vibe in three words.

Charismatic, authentic, and multidisciplinary.

What’s a fashion trend from Tbilisi that you think deserves more recognition on the global stage?

I love how effortlessly people in Tbilisi layer their clothing. When you walk the streets, you see both old and young individuals confidently owning their unique styles, and I truly appreciate that diversity.

Tribal Chic images Lucy Deverall

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