The MNY Spotlight

Meet Kahindo Mateene, Founder of African-Inspired Brand KAHINDO

Kahindo first gained popularity as a designer on season 12 of the hit show Project Runway. Since then, she has created KAHINDO, an African-inspired clothing brand that celebrates her Congolese heritage. Her success earned her a spot in the Tory Burch Fellowship, where she became fast friends with Louisa Rechter Takacs, co-founder of Mestiza.

Kahindo wears the Corazon Top

What inspired you to create Kahindo?

The inspiration behind creating Kahindo was deeply rooted in my African heritage and a desire to celebrate and promote African culture through fashion. I wanted to create a brand that not only showcased the vibrant colors, patterns, and textiles of Africa but also embraced ethical and sustainable practices in the fashion industry.

Share with us an inside scoop about filming for a reality television show!

Filming for a reality television show was definitely a whirlwind experience! One inside scoop I can share is that while the cameras capture a lot of the drama and excitement on screen, there's also a lot of downtime behind and between the scenes where we bond with other contestants and crew members.

What is one word of advice you would give to a new designer trying to build their business?
One word of advice I would give to a new designer trying to build their business is perseverance. Building a successful fashion brand takes time, dedication, and resilience. Stay true to your vision, keep pushing forward even in the face of challenges, and never underestimate the power of hard work and determination.

Which Mestiza pieces would you pack with you on a warm-weather vacation?

If I were packing for a warm-weather vacation, I would definitely include some of Mestiza's signature pieces like the Emilie Midi Dress for its effortless elegance, the Corazon Bow Top for its playful yet chic style, and the Bella Bow Pajama set for its versatility and comfort.

How do you know Louisa / when did you meet?
I met Louisa through the Tory Burch Fellowship in 2021, where she was assigned as my buddy when I became a fellow. Our connection deepened when we met in person at the Embrace Ambition Summit in July 2022. From the moment we connected, Louisa's creativity, dedication, and positive energy have been a constant source of inspiration and support in my journey as a designer.

See more from our interview with Kahindo on Instagram

More Posts


Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing