Richard Mkoloma is a fashion designer and creative consultant with over 15 years experience defining, revitalising and focusing innovative apparel, accessories and footwear collections for global brands, niche labels and start-up companies, aligning brand vision with compelling product across international markets for both mens and womenswear.
Richard’s considered approach is grounded in a technical foundation in tailoring through a degree from the London College of Fashion (BA Honours) and an apprenticeship with the bespoke tailors at Paul Smith.
Over the course of his career, Richard has lived in Germany, London, Amsterdam and New York and has travelled and worked across Europe and Asia researching, designing and developing apparel collections.
While in New York, Richard worked as lead designer for mogul Sean ‘P.Diddy’ Combs’ denim range [Blue]. by Sean John and ‘Collection’, producing contempoary menswear capsules that offered a premium take on the label’s hip hop influenced mainline offer. In New York Richard also played a significant role in the design and launch of Italian brand Fila’s new sub-brand and sport-lifestyle concept Filativa while also working on the Fila
Vintage heritage-inspired range.
Richard went on to work for global sports brand Puma in London, where he designed and help develop cutting-edge men’s and women’s ranges. His work on the Urban Mobility collaboration with leading maverick designer Hussein Chalayan successfully introduced a high-end sport-luxe narrative to a company known mostly for it’s sportswear. Richard also played a pivotal design role in establishing the directional approach of the Puma Golf brand, which disrupted the rigid styling of golf apparel and introduced a contemporary aesthetic to technical sportswear, Richard also worked on several key strategic lifestyles concepts for the business across both men’s and women’s. Most recently, Richard has successfully delivered inline & key account lifestyle packages for Adidas Originals and created presentations on ‘Design Process’ cross-functionally for the brand’s Talent Acquisition teams. Most recently Richard has been consulting with African Fashion International on new fashion brand concepts, Creative direction input for their Mercedes Benz Fashion Week event and Exhibition conceptualisation.
Through his consultancy, Richard has delivered on various design and direction projects for Napapijri, Armadillo Scootewear, Michiko Koshino/Yen Jeans and Levi’s amongst others. His versatile skillset has led to Richard providing design & seasonal direction for action sports & lifestyle brands O’neill, McLaren (Formula 1) and Diadora.
Richard has also delivered brand development for luxury womenswear consultancy Avis Charles Associates, luxe footwear label Mo Saïque, women’s accessories label Kiguwa as well as business-lifestyle brand Urban Professor to reintroduce an exclusive accessories offer for the historic US civil rights organisation the National Urban League.
Richard has delivered workshops and presented at key public events including – the TEDx
Euston Salon, Amnesty International, DFID and the Africa Fashion Guide. In 2014 he was honoured as a ‘Leading Designer’ by the African Society at Cambridge
University, and particpated as a speaker on the first ever creative panel at the London
Business School’s, African Business Summit.
Richard has a deep personal commitment to using the arts to create social change, in particular for young people and has worked with various charities and community organisations with a focus on inspiring, mentoring and empowering young people. Richard developed and taught the fashion training program in Aruba for arts/education program Art Rules Aruba. He also led a process of facilitating creative writing workshops with young people across Britain with UK-based women’s rights charity FORWARD on the theme of FGM, where he has curated art exhibitions and conceptualised, project managed and edited their first ever youth-authored poetry book entitled ‘These Are Our Friends’. The project was also expanded into a short film, and included commissioning a music producer and a team of graphic design professionals (who created a graphic-poster series) to creatively respond to the young people’s work. Richard currently serves as a mentor for Secondary School students for the social organisation ROK/Reach Out 2 Kids.