Meet Dollyquintter Mungai -a Kenyan fashion stylist
Wednesday, May 5th, 2021
Dollyquintter Mungai is a Kenyan fashion stylist who lives in London, UK. As she sets herself up to go big into the fashion business, she uses her eponymous Instagram page ‘what_did_dolly_wear_’ to display her style and drive the agenda forward. She talks with Mwangi Alberto about her interests and plans.
Tell us how your love for fashion started.
I landed a job as a 21-year-old in 2010 at Harrods (the biggest fashion stores in the UK) with no experience, but I had what it takes.
I started working on a make-up counter, but my ambition was to work as a personal shopper, and whenever I got a chance, I’d go introduce myself to the managers.
When I finally became a personal shopper, it was exhilarating; I was living my dream.
I was styling people and helping them find outfits, and through that, I got to meet people from all walks of life and from all over the world. After a two-year stint at Harrods, I took a leap of faith and quit my job and started my own business as a personal shopper.
I never needed much capital as I was offering a service not product, so I printed out business cards and that’s how stylist Dolly was born.
How has it been for you in the UK?
Living in England has its pros and cons. But I particularly love the endless opportunities, living in such a diverse city with people from all over the world and the vast choice of fashion brands shopping centres.
I love it when I come to visit Kenya, as it gives me a chance to embrace my roots and see my family and most importantly, remembering my identity. But the Covid-19 pandemic hasn’t given me a chance to come home since last year.
What are your fashion interests?
Since I was a little girl, I loved fashion so much that toys never interested me.
Fashion gives you a way of expressing yourself without talking; it speaks volumes without saying a word.
Fashion to me is like a blank canvass; you can do whatever you want with it. There are no restrictions, no rights or wrong; it’s your world just how you see it.
I knew I loved fashion because it allowed me to express myself, especially when I got to an age where I was allowed to dress myself.
The excitement of throwing things together with no judgement gave me a great insight into fashion.
Professionally, how have you pursued it?
I’ve been running my own fashion business for the last 10 years, which has allowed me to travel to more than 52 different countries and has helped me have a spiritual balance with myself.
My fashion line is not off yet, but will do in the near future with an attention for petite women.
Are African designs making a statement internationally?
They are doing amazingly good with now Louis Vuitton using African fabrics.
Africa has stunning art and history, so it gives designers a lot to work with from our wildlife to the weather and the breath-taking natural sceneries.
Describe your personal style.
My style is temperamental depending on how I feel sometimes. Some days I feel like dressing like a First Lady, others like Spice Girls.
Sometimes I am very laid-back in an oversized sweatshirt and sweat pants, but always a fresh pair of trainers.
Has your style changed over the years?
Now I have my own money, I can make my own choices and buy what I want.
As I have gotten more mature, my style has become a little more relaxed and I definitely go for quality instead of quantity.
Previously, I would have five vest stops, but now I have two that can be worn over and over again because the quality is the best.
What’s yor most expensive fashion item?
It’s embarrassing to say, but I own a pair of YSL boots that cost £10,000 (Sh1.5 million) and Hermes bag that cost £16,000 (Sh2.4 million).
The bag is an investment, but the shoes are bad spending. I’d say I have expensive taste.
What do you splurge on?
As I don’t go out much, I splurge on trips, shoes, handbags and jewellery. Basically, I just love to shop whether it’s for my loved ones or me.
Which fashion trend do you think should be banned?
It has to be men wearing baggy and sagging trousers that show their underwear.
Do you have a beauty regime that you follow?
I would say my beauty regimen is my self-development journey that is on going.
I make myself a better person every day, not just for the people around me, but for myself.
I do this by controlling my thoughts and taking care of my body spiritually and emotionally. I also drink a lot of water, work out regularly and eat well.
What’s your favourite scent?
Any fashion advice for both ladies and gents...
Don’t be scared to try news things. Remember you wear the items and not the vice versa.
What are your aspirations?
I aspire to take over East Africa by bringing fashion to people’s doorsteps like Amazon. I want to make fashion accessible. So, watch out for Dolly.