DYNAMIC AFRICANS: ‘2ManySiblings’ - Papa Petit & Velma Rossa.
Images of the stylish and highly creative Kenyan brother and sister team Papa Petit and Velma Rossa, who operate under the partnership title ‘2ManySiblings’, have been make frequent rounds on my tumblr dashboard for quite some time now - much to my delight.
As frequent submitters to Dynamic Africa, I’ve been intrigued about the personalities behind their breathtaking photographs since I first became aware of their blog a couple of months ago. Feeling inspired by their work, I recently chatted to the eclectic proudly Kenyan, proudly African duo and got to know more about them, their influences and how this project of theirs came about.
Briefly tell us a little about yourselves:
Velma Rossa: Hi, we are 2manysiblings, Papa Petit and I, brother & sister style and art enthusiasts from Kenya. I work for a styling management company which has also exposed me to an ethical fashion mission that helps poor communities be sustainable through international fashion projects.
Papa Petit: I am a personal wardrobe stylist & shopper. I have a Lux T-shirt design project on the side too.
You both come across as highly creative individuals, merging photography and fashion which you showcase wonderfully on your blog. What led you two to these artistic disciplines?
V.R: Be eccentric now,don’t wait for old age to wear Purple!
I can comfortably say that our youth and fashion curiosities pushed us to start this blog. It is a fun project, a visual space for us to document our style and daily lives, as well as a way to let people into our little African world and collaborate with various Kenyan photographers to showcase their talent.
How long have you each been involved in fashion, styling and photography? Do you plan on making this a profession (if it isn’t already)?
P.P: Velma has been involved in fashion longer than I have, about five years now. Heck she was my personal inspiration into this art form.
We only just started playing with the camera recently - there is so much beauty out there and we want to frame all of it!
Fashion and styling is already a profession for us we can only wait to see where photography will take us.
How is working with each other? Is this something that happened naturally or did you decide to collaborate for other/specific reasons?
V.R: We are very lucky to have similar ideas and ways of thinking when doing projects for our blog. It’s like we missed our calling to be TWINS, haha!
The work dynamic between us pretty much comes naturally as we both creatively come up with concepts for shoots and direction: though I tend to be the clown and my brother, he is more of a mentalist.
When creating your looks/styling yourselves & taking these images, how conscious of you of your heritage as Kenyans, and as Africans in the greater sphere of things? How would you each describe your aesthetics?
P.P: We each have a personal aesthetic when it comes to dressing. I am more of dandy punk and Velma, Hobo Afro-chic.
We are proud of our Kenyan heritage and we subtly show this through our choice of accessories which we source from local craftsmen from the Maasai Markets to support the crafts & artisan industry in Kenya.Their accessories are both contemporary and timeless.
Africa is so rich in culture and scenic landscapes.We try to share these aspects of Africa through locations we pick for shoots. Kenya is known for growing high grade tea which we export and in one of our favorite projects yet, we worked with photographer Sarah Marie at the Limuru tea plantations to capture that heritage.
Finally, who and/or what inspires you, creatively speaking?
P.P: Inspiration comes to us in all forms.We are influenced by 70’s Afrobeat music, art, architecture, culture and colours of food - not to mention our dad’s old photo albums. His clothes had English sensibilities.
All these together offer something that feeds our creative hunger.
Taking road trips across our country, stopping in little towns, seeing what’s happening there and discovering something new inspire more concepts for our blog projects.
All Africa, All the time.