Meet Kenyan Designer Who Dressed 3 First Ladies

  • Sally
    Chairperson of Association of Fashion Designer's Kenya and Owner of SK collection Brand clothing line, Sally Karago.
  • Sally Karago is the Kenyan designer behind all the Kenyan First Ladies' wardrobe except the late wife of President Daniel Arap Moi, Lena Moi.

    From her SK (Sally Karago) Collections shop in Nairobi, Sally has dressed former First Ladies Mama Ngina Kenyatta, the late Mama Lucy Kibaki and the current first lady Margaret Kenyatta.

    “Each of those Kenyan first ladies have bought my clothes,” said Karago, in an interview with CTA.

    Sally Karago, Kenyan Designer that has dressed 3 Kenyan First Ladies.

    According to Karago, the late Mama Lucy personally bought her outfits when Karago operated her fashion house from Ngong Road.

    Karago narrated her first encounter with Lucy when Kibaki's daughter called Karago to inform her that her mum was coming to shop for clothes.  

    "Immediately I called the office and told my people 'make sure it’s all clean'. When they got to the office, they filled the whole parking space with executive cars. The security comes locking all doors and I am told to go meet her by the car. When I saw her, I didn’t know whether to bow, or kneel…I had not experienced this before'' recalled Karago.

    Karago revealed that the late Mama Lucy Kibaki was pleasant to talk to and she was very happy with the first collection that the designer picked for her.

    Lucy Kibaki
    The Late Lucy Kibaki, Wife of Former President Mwai Kibaki.

    After that first encounter, Mama Lucy became a repeat client. It got to a point that the first lady went to the office even when she was not present since she got used to working with her staff.

    Describing her relationship with Mama Ngina Kenyatta, Karago says that she is fantastic to work with - a very good client.

    “We were not just making clothes, we talk. We talk over a cup of tea. All the first ladies are very mature and ooze wisdom,’’ she said.

    The acclaimed fashion designer also dresses the current first lady, Margret Kenyatta. The free-flowing dresses Margaret Kenyatta wears are a reflection of Sally Karago’s own love for free-fitting wear.

    Karago acknowledges that she has dressed most prominent people which is a blessing but to have all the three first ladies come to one designer is a complement to her skills.

    Mama Ngina Kenyatta, widow of the country's first president, Jomo Kenyatta and also the mother of President Uhuru Kenyatta with his wife and Current First Lady Margret Kenyatta at a past State Function.

    Karago who is also the Chairperson of the Association of Fashion Designers in Kenya has expanded her brand clothing line SK Collection which has branched to the Hub Karen, Lavington Mall and Village Market in Gigiri.

    Karago came to the national limelight when she won the Smirnoff Fashion Awards-professional category in 1993, a fete cemented when she bagged the best designer during the 1998 M-Net Face of Africa modelling competition. She would later become a judge at the same event.

    Sally grew up in Riruta, Nairobi, where her fashion sense was piqued at an early age. 

    The Kenyan designer studied fashion at the Evelyn College of Design in Nairobi and the London School of Fashion Design for four years.