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Meet the Zari wardrobe stylists Wanjiku Stephens

23 January 2024
She is an award Winning actress, fashion influencer and stylist.
wanjiku stephens, zari

Have you ever wondered who is behind the brilliant Zari character outfits? We recently caught up with the wardrobe stylist and this is what she shared wth us. 

1.Tell us about yourself and how you got into being a wardrobe stylist?

Having come from a humble background, I’d attribute my limited wardrobe to a financial constraint when it came to acquiring new outfits. My exceptionally talented and wonderful mother initiated my fashion education at a young age, guiding me in combining various pieces and reimagining looks for diverse occasions. This early exposure cultivated a natural passion for styling within me.

2.Which skill set do you need to be wardrobe stylist?

To excel as a wardrobe stylist, essential skills include a strong understanding of fashion trends, knowledge of fabrics, attention to detail, passion, patience, excellent communication for collaboration with clients, production teams, and the ability to stay updated on industry developments. Additionally, a keen sense of colour, style, and creativity is crucial in creating visually appealing and functional wardrobes for different projects.

3. How do you about create the iconic fashions on Zari?

With the guidance of a well created mood board and a character bible that gives me a summary of what the whole show is all about. Keeping in mind the costume worn by each character has to align with the script, which means I have to read and analyse the script.

  • Characters
  • Transformation
  • Set time and place of a costume
  • Location
  • Financial situation
  • Fashion and style consciousness

4. What elements did you have to put in place to ensure the designs marry the script?

The show explores the concept of generational wealth within a family, often referred to as "old money," and incorporates mid-century design to create a lasting impression on the audience. It is crucial for the visual elements to align seamlessly with the script and to grasp the themes and characteristics embodied by each character.

5. How do you go about ensuring the realness of the characters through fashion you create? Please walk us through the process including the choice of colours and design

Realness is created with an understanding that every character is a real world example, each one of them culture economy in or around them.

Understanding why the script writer describes a certain character a certain way, which guides me, to come up with a convincing costume that is believable and convincing according to the script

Helps me to follow the same guidance to make sure that colour describes each character’s pride and heritage.

6. Which character design are you most proud of? Please share sketches from creation to final product.

Character I am proud of dressing, has to be Bosco and Fridah, these two characters have really pushed me out of my comfort zone, I’m used to dressing for glam, I have an understanding that fashion is not the primary goal in motion pictures.

7. Which character has the most multiple looks?

Lola has so many looks, I will call her my chameleon just like her character she will wear just about anything to disguise herself on whatever goal, mission or how she wants people to perceive her. Her style is my style’s spirit animal.

8. How did you go about achieving the Kaloleni look and the Kitisuru one?

Two different family dynamics with different economic structures and capabilities again it goes back to understanding of the mood board, script and research.

Parting shot!!!

Follow me on my social media handles @wanjikustephens in all platforms to watch behind the scenes and please watch Zari every Monday to Friday at 8:30 on Maisha Magic Plus on DStv channel 163 and GOtv 3  to see more of my work.