Baltimore native, Ayana Rogers, has had a deep passion for fashion and design, ever since her childhood when she would get a thrill out of cutting up jeans or anything she could get her hands on, in order to make her outfits eccentric. House of Nairobi, a clothing line started by Miss Rogers herself, is a visual representation of Ayana’s diversity, creativity, and passion all stitched in one. The 19-year-old fashionista plans to take her craft and attend The Pratt Institute, where she will study fashion.



“I’ll just continue to be myself and always work hard for what I want. Don’t keep following trends trying to be like everyone else because then no one will see you for you. Show us who YOU are, not someone we’ve already seen.”


Q: How long have you been passionate about the fashion industry?

A: Ever since I was a child! I would cut up jeans or anything I could find and make random things out of it. I knew that ever since then I was in love with designing and becoming a designer myself.


Mirror Jacket

Q: How did you learn how to design clothes?

A: I taught myself how to sew. I like to be able to figure things out on my own.


Q: Do you currently attend college, if so where and what are you studying?

A: I am leaving for Pratt Institute in August to study in fashion.


Q: How do you find your balance between being a model, designer, and running your own clothing line?

A: Modeling didn’t really come into the picture until I was about 12 and then it shifted from me wanting to really want to be a designer to me wanting to actually be a model. I saw that I didn’t want to give up on my designing so I started back up doing that and thought why not be a model for my own clothing line.


Q: When did you first begin designing clothes?

A: When I was about 6

Q: What are some of the challenges you face in your occupation?

A: Having faith in myself and not paying attention to what everyone else is doing. I needed to stay focused on myself and work on my craft.


Q: How would you describe your personal style?

A: Lol, umm I don’t really have one specific style, it changes a lot. My style is very versatile so you’ll never know who you’re going to see next.

Q: Tell us about your experience in creating your VERY FIRST gown!

A: It was very difficult!!! I cried making the both of them because I’ve never done something so big like this before. I wanted to give up but when I finished and I saw how beautiful they came out and how beautiful and happy my clients were in them…. I cried because I was just so proud of myself and what I did.

Q: What are some of the highlights from this experience?

A: I was able to see how far I could go with designing and what I can really did.

Q: What is one of the best design jobs you have ever done?

A: My mirror jacket I created for my class project.

Q: What do you see for the future of your design career?

A: Having more confidence in myself and my designs.


Q: ONE person or event you would love to design for?

A: Rihanna


Q: What trends are you following these days?

A: None, I make my own and do things my own way.

Q: What is an old trend that should make a comeback?

A: Being able to dress how you want without being talked about because you’re different


Q: What inspires you?

A: Metal and unconventional items.


Q: Who are your favorite fashion designers?

A: Alexander Wang and Balenciaga

Q: Tell us how you plan to be the ultimate Girl Boss and continue to rise in your passion?

A: Just continue to be myself and always work hard for what I want. 

Q: What advice would you give to those aspiring fashion designers?

A: BE YOURSELF!!! Don’t keep following trends trying to be like everyone else because then no one will see you for you. Show us who YOU are, not someone we’ve already seen.


Q: What are some aspects to be mindful of when you’re creating a new piece?

A: Try not to make them look like the last one.


Q: Do you have any upcoming projects or brands that you will be collaborating with?

A: There is a show July 15th that I will be featuring my brand in.


Q: When did you create your clothing line, House of Nairobi?

A: House of Nairobi came in 2015, I had changed it from “YaYa Couture” because it didn’t give me the attention and excitement that I wanted everyone else to get when they heard that name.


Q: What is the meaning behind the brand name?

A: House Of Nairobi means the house of me basically. It’s my house and you get to see who I am and what my designs mean regarding who I am.


Q: What products are you known for selling?

A: My off the shoulder tops and my Wide legged pants.


Q: How would you describe the style behind your clothing brand?

A: Right now, I am focusing on the African print because It’s such a beautiful print and draws so much attention to the eye, especially whatever it is you make out of it. The colors, the patterns, the details, everything about it is just beautiful.


Q: What goals/projects do you have for House of Nairobi in 2017?

A: You all will see what’s coming up for my House very soon.


Q: When did you first start modeling?

A: When I was 6


Q: How has your career expanded since then?

A: Yes, I have been doing lots of runway shows and photoshoots. I was recently in NYFW for the first time and it was amazing.

NYFW17 @menyelek__concepts

A post shared by ❃❃❃ (@houseofnairobi_) on


Q: Given the nature of the modeling industry today, what diversity do you hope to bring to this industry?

A: More models with tattoos, piercings, they don’t have perfect skin, they are just them and they will be accepted for who they are.


Q: Are you affiliated with any brands or companies?

A: Not yet but soon



Q: If you were given ONE opportunity to walk the runway for one brand, who would it be?

A: Fenty


Q: What’s something that you consider to be challenging when it comes to being a model?

A: Shape and the tattoos on my body. Since we are not yet at that stage where we can just be who we are it is still challenging to model being yourself.


Q: What is one funny/silly moment you’ve had in your modeling career?

A: I had to wear a dress that showed nudity and my mom was making jokes and pointing and making faces and I was trying not to laugh while walking.


Q: What are your thoughts on cultural appropriation and diversity in the modeling industry?

A: I believe that it is very very very important for there to be cultural appropriation and diversity within the modeling industry because there just isn’t enough of it. It’s not hard to find a model that fits the culture the designer is showcasing to the audience. In order for the modeling industry to change, designers need to stop being afraid to use diversity and change.


Q: What are your plans for 2017?

A: Build my empire


Q: Is there anything you would like your supporters to know?

A: I love you all so much and I promise you I won’t let you all down! I will have something very big for you all coming very soon!!!

See More House of Nairobi Looks: 




About The Author

CEO, Editor-In-Chief

awkward. college student. entrepreneur. womanist. radiant. lover of all things. growing, blossoming each moment.

Related Posts