Nairobi News


Retrenched KQ manager making it big in fashion – VIDEO

By BONIFACE NYAGA November 28th, 2016 2 min read

There is nothing worse than losing your job for absolutely no fault of your own after working so hard to get to the top.

Yet many Kenyans continue to face this inevitable fate everyday as news of a company’s downsizing fill our news-feeds. Some however have turned such misfortunes into better and more fulfilling careers.

One example is that of fast rising fashion designer Vivienne Taa. After nearly 10 years of employment at Kenya Airways, Vivienne was this year shown the door.

By the time she was leaving KQ she had risen to the position of cargo manager, with an international staff reporting to her.


Like many Kenyans in her shoes, it was a traumatic experience that really shook her. Though unfortunate, the incident gave her a chance to finally pursue one of her deepest heart’s desire.

“I loved working for KQ, and I honestly harbor no hard feelings for what happened. It is something that is happening to so many people right now and it can happen to anyone, but you have to pick yourself up and move on,” she says.

Vivienne has always had a passion for fashion and a few years ago while still working for KQ, she picked it up as a hobby. She took up design classes and began designing for fun.

At the time most of her peers were taking up career progressive courses that would help them get promotions. Many didn’t understand why she was doing something that is totally unrelated to her line of work.

After finishing the classes, she took a sewing machine that was lying idle at her mom’s house and began bringing her creativity to life.


“My colleagues would always admire my outfits on dress down Friday. After wearing my designs to work for a while I started getting orders. At first it was just a hobby, but when my season at KQ ended I went full time into fashion. It didn’t come exactly how I pictured it but being a designer is a dream come true.”

Nairobi News caught up with Vivienne at the Nairobi Fashion Week where she was headlining day one of the two-day event.

Her designs are bold and edgy, blending African and contemporary fabric to bring to life beautifully styled exotic clothes and bags for fashion lovers.

Besides headlining local fashion shows, Vivienne is already becoming a local celebrity. There is a solid buzz about her designs and several media houses have already covered her story.