Dera’s becoming a fashion essential

A model clad in a dera PHOTO COURTESY

Mombasa,KENYA: In the past ,colorful free light cottoned dresses  locally known as Madera  were  mostly associated with the Swahili people  in the coastal regions of Kenya and Tanzania. Nowadays, fashion  has taken a paradigm shift as  the dresses   are now becoming an essential  for women not only in the coastal region but also in other regions in the country.

The dresses which come in different sizes, colors and shapes are mostly sold in Marikiti market in Mombasa County  both in  retail and in  bulk and they are now a fast moving commodity . Prices range from sh 300 to sh 1200 depending on many factors among them the fabric quality.

Dorothy Akolo is a resident of Bamburi who purchases them in Bulk  at Marikiti market every month and later reselling to her clients in both Mombasa and Nairobi  and she says that most women in the country  have drastically changed their dressing mode  especially during weekends.

“If take a look around and you will notice that most women prefer wearing deras during weekends other than the usual shorts, and sweatpants. They look beautiful because the dress is long  and very presentable”. She says.

Halima Abdullahi is a prominent business woman who owns a large boutique in  Marikiti market Clad in a  yellow stripped dera and a head wrapper over her head, she says she only stocks khanga’s and deras  she also says that her sales have improved drastically in the past one year due  to the high demand of the dresses.

“This is  13th year in  business, and i  have more than 20 varieties of deras and the demand is very high and I also supply to some of the shops over here. I don’t know what caused the  shift in fashion but am glad that unlike in the past, they are really moving fast”. Said Halima.

Abedi Omar, is also another trader , who says that   that during the festive seasons , the demand is very high and stock outs  are very common.