AUTHOR: Vincent Libosso Embukane
CHANNEL: Whats GoodNetwork Nairobi
From cool smart casual to modern mod, or preppy with an edge – whatever your taste, Dapper Monkey online store helps define your style.
They say the clothes make the man, and Ian Arunga is daily proving this through his luxury and feel good men’s only apparel online shop called Dapper Monkey.
A sit down with him, he is quick to correct me, “Dapper Monkey started last year 2016 on 12th September and it is a Project with my partner Cheryl Itemere.”
Ian Arunga is both ludicrously Kenyan (at one point he turns and poses to his colleague Kevin Muchemi, “when was the last time you wore a suit?”) And his love for smart casual lights on his face each time he speaks.
Today he is rocking a white shirt with blue paisley prints, maroon pants and brown Chelsea leather boots. Clearly Arunga is no stranger to fashion. Do not be fooled by the calm eyes behind the brown wooden spectacles. Arunga and team at Dapper Monkey are out to ensure there is luxury in men’s apparel’s delivery, package and everything associated.
“Every time I would meet people they would ask me about what I had worn and where they could get it. I then realized, wait a minute, so there is a market for what I love,” Explains Ian Arunga. Those curiosities lead to him and co-founder Cheryl Itemere setting up the online shop in September last year.
Dapper Monkey is a highly luxury online shop for men’s apparel. Everything on sale is fancy and sharp ware. The whole idea was to give any buyer a ‘feel good’ experience. Anyone can buy a shirt or a pair of socks in any stall anywhere in Nairobi but when buying from Dapper Monkey, they make sure you go through the experience; From the packaging (socks, ties, pocket squares and other small accessories come in Dapper Monkey Mason jars, suits come in Ankara suit bags and shirts come in mailing tubes), to customer care to delivery of your order.
All transactions are done online and payment is by MPESA. As we speak, a call comes in and Ian Arunga is quick to respond, “make the order and your delivery will be dispatched at mid-day.” He explains to me how Kenyans are yet to catch the hang of e-commerce.
“It is a challenge but we have seen quite an improvement since we started on how people transact on the website. It will get better for sure and soon guys can start to enjoy the thrill of online shopping.”
The spirit of inspiration lies all over this website. Ian is quick to explain how he came about the name ‘monkey’ in Dapper Monkey. “I went to seven different nursery schools that were overly Indian community based and one teacher called me a monkey since I would question a lot of things.
So, Dapper Monkey is in essence an inspiration to anyone out there who feels looked down upon. You can make positive those negatives.”
With such a vibe, Dapper Monkey is making strides this year with the official launch of The Bespoke men’s suit collection slated for February, and Mini Monkey for little dapper boys being launched later in the year.
With sixty percent of the apparels being made locally, Ian Arunga envisions a time when Dapper Monkey will have everything on the website catalogue made locally. There is power in that label: Made In Kenya and he is quick to add that hopefully by 2018, this will have been achieved.
Dapper Monkey has a team of designers and stylists who work on the background creating a look-book for anyone new to smart casual or what many all official. “These stylists’ commitment to quality ensures we remain steady and maintain that same quality in all our products.” He adds.
That commitment to quality is now seeing them deliver countrywide and sometimes globally.
Some of the things Dapper Monkey has in stock