Ruto’s New Fashion Sense Drives Up Kaunda Suit Prices

President William Ruto’s recent fashion choices have sparked a resurgence in demand for Kaunda suits which were extremely popular in the 90s.

Kenyan tailors have experienced a significant uptick in orders for these suits, following Ruto’s decision to prominently feature them in his wardrobe.

A spot check conducted by across several tailor shops in Nairobi observed a threefold increase in demand for these suits, coinciding with Ruto’s adoption of the style. 

The price range for these suits varies, depending on several factors such as the tailor’s reputation and the fabric used. Prices start at a minimum of Ksh2,000, with some tailors charging upwards of Ksh20,000.

Speaking to renowned tailor Ashok Sunny, who has previously designed Ruto’s suits, attributed the surging demand to the president’s fondness for this particular style as Kenyans seek to emulate Ruto’s fashion choices and be part of the trend.

A photo collage of fashion designer Ashok Sunny (left) and President William Ruto wearing a Kaunda suit at a state function on August 2 (right).


Ashok Sunny

Although President Ruto has predominantly preferred short sleeve Kaunda suits, Sunny revealed that Kenyans have placed orders for different styles of Kaunda suits.

“It is the influence of the president. There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing a design including fabric and cuts. Some people also want long necks or shorter necks

“There is also a shirt collar finish,” the tailor stated.

Sunny’s sentiments were also shared by another city-based tailor David Angulo who said that Kenyans are now warming up to the fashion trend an incorporating Kaunda suits in their wardrobes.

However, despite the trend, the tailors advised Kenyans to consider some aspects before making purchases.

“Consider the colour and the style that fits you perfectly,” Angulo stated.

On his part, Sunny advised Kenyans to consider the colour of the suit and whether it matches their skin tone, type of event and the weather on the specific day.

“If it is hot weather like ours in Kenya, then a short sleeve is good. If it is very formal then a long-sleeved will be good.

“We usually choose the colour based on skin tone. If it is something formal then you do not want the bright colours. If it is something informal and you have a lot of wiggle room then you can choose the colour you want depending on the skin tone,” he stated.

Notable leaders that have adopted Ruto’s Kaunda suit style include Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, Lang’ata MP Phelix Odiwour alias Jalang’o and Ruto’s aide Farouk Kibet.

Ruto first stepped out in a Kaunda suit on June 12 during his tour to Djibouti.

A photo of Lang’ata MP Phelix Odiwour alias Jalang’o wearing a Kaunda suit on August 27, 2023.



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