Many know Jamie as one of the most creative make-up artists on the Nairobi scene, he can do anything from a simple glam look to channelling the iconic 70’s looks of the Fela Kuti wives. His talent is undeniable. Make-up, however, is only one facet of his career, fashion is where his true passion lies. As with all greatest talents, Jamie’s love for creating through clothing started at a young age, fascinated with drawing girls and dressing them up, he notes “at that time I didn’t know being a designer was a possibility, it was just something I liked doing”. This graduated into being the kid who would always try and customise his uniform through high-school. Not only changing the shape but also “stencilling my shirts with Kiwi shoe polish”. Expanding his canvas by doing the same for his friends for dress-up days at school called “funkies” and closing days.
When the time came to join university, he naturally chose to go to Fashion school, even though his family had always thought of fashion was just a hobby for him. He iterates “I couldn’t see myself doing anything else apart from fashion, advancing in the same career”. Thus, after completing fashion school, he interned at various fashion houses through which he became a stylist, morphing into the make-up artist we know today.
He used his make-up career as a means to save enough money to create his first collection, which birthed his brand, Sevaria. He highlights how he wanted his brand to be true to his context and thus very Kenyan. On the name, you might ask? Well “I was very intrigued by how most Kikuyu business owners use their names i.e. Kimani and sons, so I took my last name, Macharia, plus the number seven which is very personal to me and got Sevaria.” He adds, “I knew I wanted to tell stories about our African cultures through apparel while still being true to my androgynous aesthetic.”
Sevaria is a brand that prides itself in the creation of culturally inspired genderfluid pieces. Through this, they aim to shed light on African cultures in their entirety. Using silhouettes, textiles, style and creative direction to channel different African tribes, religions, music and art. All whilst fostering individuality and self-expression.
Whilst the world has been on lockdown, Jamie has been using this time to create his second collection. Researching and sketching. Yet, not forgetting to simultaneously create brand strategies and structures that enable growth. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for Sevaria.