Corporate Lady Profile: Winnie Odande

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Today we feature Winnie Odande, a freelance fashion stylist, personal shopper, and a fashion and lifestyle blogger. I remember Winnie from high school, and recently, it was a pleasant surprise to bump into her at the Kenya Art Fair.

Here is my interview with her:

Did you study a course in fashion? If so, where?

Interestingly, I have no academic fashion background whatsoever.

How long have you been a stylist?

Since I fully went in, it’s now one and a half years thereabouts.

Your bio says you are a personal shopper. Would you take us through what that entails?

In brief, a personal shopper is someone who offers shopping services to people whilst giving them shopping advice/suggestions at a fee. In my case, it’s as far as clothing items and accessories are concerned.

Why did you start the blog?

I used to sell clothing stuff online and I discovered some people don’t see the beauty of an outfit or may not know how to put it together unless shown so I opted to start a blog to do the same. At the same time, the blog was an avenue to promote modesty by showing women that they can actually look good by not showing unnecessary skin. It’s more like a call for women to put a higher worth on themselves.

What does your typical day look like?

Wow, my typical day involves a lot of online activity as I tend to get most of my clients there and also being a blogger the internet is basically my office. Also it’s a channel for me to research, get ideas and inspiration et al. I also read a lot and do some writing too. So if I’m not at my blog shoot, styling job or attending an event, I’m always indoors multi-tasking on the afore-mentioned stuff.

Did you always want to venture in fashion? What was your motivation?

I never thought I would end up doing fashion as a career. I was the go to school, get a good job kind of chic. Fashion just found me along the way through God’s providential ways and I’m glad it did, because it is my happy place.

Guys would always commend my looks when I went to work and they would ask me to get them similar stuff. Through that I realized it’s something I actually loved and it came naturally.

Your tagline is ‘Modesty Exemplified’, what’s your opinion on women being portrayed as sex symbols in the fashion industry and media in general?

I harbor quite strong feelings about women being treated as sex symbols. As a woman, I know firsthand how that feels and I always say it’s up to us to change the narrative. For as long as we allow the media and people in general to objectify us, it will continue being an issue.

I believe there’s more to a woman than her body. We all have a part to play to let people hear that loud and clear. Let’s force the fashion industry and the media as a whole, to think of more creative ways to push their ideas and agendas, other than parading our naked bodies around. Less is more, doesn’t mean nudity.

What three projects do you consider your most successful so far?

  • The Pride Inn Hotel & Conferencing Ad shoot, where I did the styling and makeup for the guys. This is mainly because it was my virgin styling venture.
  • When I worked alongside Michael Nzioki, for last years’ Coca Cola World Cup Carnival Ad. That was quite something and it opened my eyes to a lot of things.
  • The third one would be working backstage at FAFA 2014 Fashion for Peace Gala. It is there that I discovered I actually enjoy being behind the scenes, making things happen as opposed to sitting down and watching. Plus, it equipped me with skills I carry on to date.

What’s your parting shot?

It’s never too late to start and when you do, don’t give up. Jump the hurdles.

Winnie blogs at fitndiscover.com

You can also connect with her on @fitndiscover

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