KAHINDO is a sustainable and ethical luxury brand for women designed in New York City and sourced and produced in Africa using fair trade practices. The collection was conceived with the ethos and mission of empowering women of every age and size. The collection is inspired by Kahindo’s African heritage which serves as a visual narrative seen throughout her design aesthetic and bold prints and colors.Kahindo Mateene Founder and Designer of Kahindo was born in Uganda, educated in Kenya and has lived in Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Niger. Her Pan African experience and Congolese heritage are cultural references that inspire and influence her creative design process. “I fell in love with fashion at an early age and remember playing with paper cutout dolls and being obsessed with Spiegal catalogs,” says the former Project Runway contestant who now calls New York City home. “My mother’s sewing machine and I became best friends and my love for fashion design was inevitable.”Kahindo is a graduate of the Illinois Institue of Art in Chicago, was selected to take part in Macy’s esteemed fashion incubator program, and was a beloved contestant on Season 12 of Lifetime’s Project Runway. The Kahindo brand was founded in 2009 and was immediately praised by retailers and press for its feminine and colorful aesthetic. Kahindo’s African heritage is woven throughout her collections and she is passionate about empowering women in her native country and around the world.
Philanthropy and sustainability are an integral part of the Kahindo brand’s DNA and the designer’s mission. She currently employs several women in her native country who help produce the collection and is working to meet the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development.