Habits recently exhibited at Pure London

Habits pic 1 Red Velvet Coat.jpg

Habits recently exhibited at Pure London, the UK’s favourite fashion-buying event, where they showcased their locally produced Travel Collection. Jenny chats to us about the journey and her Pure London showcase.

Habits has been around for a while, surviving these days of fast fashion and cheap imports, what has contributed to your longevity? From small beginnings when I started with only one person working with me, I have increased my staff complement to numerous sales assistants, PAs, managing directors and an online team.

The first lesson that gets drummed into their heads is service, service, service. Before Habits I had been appalled by bad customer relations, so my top priority has always been that personal service is paramount. I feel this is a dying art in store but also online.

 

Habits Pic 2 Tuck Dress.jpg

My biggest asset is my team who provide the personal service that sets us apart. This extends to having a huge comfy sofa for bored husbands, with plenty of chilled De Grendel wine and the latest magazines on hand.

Many of my staff have been with me for a long time which allows them to build relationships and trust with our clients.

Tell us a little about the collection you showcased at Pure London? It was a difficult collection to do since I was sitting in the sweltering 33º heat of Cape Town while I was designing the AW18 range for a European winter.

We have shown at Pure London once before, when we went as part of the South African delegation with the KZN Fashion Council, exhibiting our best-selling Travel Range. Made from non-crease jersey Lycra, it rolls up in a ball, is non-crease and makes packing so simple – I knew it was a good seller, summer or winter.

Fortunately, I suddenly had a really good feel for velvet, and not just my favourite colours of black, grey and navy, but beautiful jewel tones – we all need a bit of cheering up.

I know about harsh European winters, and for a huge fan of layering, these washable velvet pieces are as perfect for African winters as they are for the English ones.

I’ve included a sort of Diane Keaton/ Annie Hall masculine three-piece suit complete with waistcoat – it’s a masculine look but hasn’t steered me away from the long, full-flowing opera coat, which is not just an easy piece to wear but it suits everybody.

This year we took a huge leap of faith and booked a stand at Pure London on our own – the only South African women’s wear label exhibiting. I have a factory of 25 people to keep in jobs in a challenging economic climate, and to be honest, it’s difficult to keep going. The only way I could see that I could keep a full-blown factory running was to dive in at the deep end, take a chance and put my money where my mouth was.

It’s frightening, but I have learnt you have to take risks in order to grow in a sustainable way.

It takes a lot of hard work but we have huge faith in our team, who exceeded our expectations, and we’re really proud of our results.

Our customer base has grown and we’ve committed to exhibiting at the next Pure London show in July. We’re proud to be flying the flag for South Africa at the show with our “proudly made in Cape Town” range, and visitors loved our stand, complete with a beaded rhino all the way from Cape Town. Local is lekker!

 

Habits Pic 3 Purple Velvet Jacket.jpg

Do you have a specific research process when you start a new collection? Absolutely not! I normally leave it late and have to panic through the last few weeks of delivering a collection, but I think I work best under pressure.

What is the biggest lesson you have learned since you started Habits? The biggest lesson is not to stand still. I went from a one-man band in 1986 to the next step of buying a building in Claremont, to expanding my team, to having my first Joburg Trunk Show 22 years ago, to opening a factory, to launching South Africa’s first online fashion store in 2002. The brand has to keep reinventing itself.

What advice would you give to young designers? Attach yourself to a known designer and learn as much as you can.

Be prepared to put in the hours and get paid very little. If you start your own business, be prepared that you will not make money in the first two years.

Habits pic 4 Wide Leg Pants.jpg

How important is Fashion Week for you? Showing off is part of the business and I can’t stress how important it is showing at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Cape Town (MBFWCT). It’s expensive, but when you think about the organisers African Fashion International put in, it’s a drop in the ocean. In fact, when I started out, I used to share shows with other designers to save money.

To demonstrate how important it is, in the weeks following MBFWCT, our figures go up and it’s not just our regular customers, but a lot of new clients. Fashion Week is a platform not just to show what sells, but to give you the opportunity to really extend what you do in real life, go a bit over the top and have some fun.

Without giving too much away, our theme for this year’s Fashion Week this month is “It’s complicated”, but that’s all I’m saying.

How would you describe the Habits woman? We aspire to having customers from aged 18 to 80. Our clients are busy women on the move, especially our online customers, who trust the brand. We have women who may be insecure with clothes and they appreciate that we don’t just sell frocks – our staff are trained to give honest advice on anything from packing and colours to wardrobe management and styles.

* The Habits Fashion Boutique is in Cavendish Close, Claremont.

Visit Habits at: http://www.habits.co.za/

Twitter: @HabitsFashion

Facebook: HabitsFashion

Instagram: habitsfashion_sa

* The Mercedes Benz Fashion Week will take place from March 23-25 in Camps Bay. Visit: http://africanfashioninternational.com/

This piece was first published in the Cape Argus and The Star on March 10 2017. For more of my work visithttp://www.iol.co.za/lifestyle/style/fashion

Connect with me on Instagram and Twitter: @Nontando58

The Ruff Tung legacy lives on through a designer duo.

It has been almost two years since fashion designer Jean-Paul Botha died at age 43. Botha, the founder and creative director of the Ruff Tung label, was one of the country’s most sought-after fashion designers in the ’90s, whose creative talent saw him develop his brand from an edgy label to a high fashion house that enjoyed appearances at several major fashion weeks across the country.

But then the Durban-born designer’s death left a huge gap in the fashion industry. Fast forward to today and Botha’s Ruff Tung legacy lives on through the talented designer duo, Bridget Pickering and Ludwig Bausch. Last month, the fashion house staged their first runway showcase – since Botha’s death – at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town (MBFWCT).

Picture by SDR Photo

Picture by SDR Photo

We interviewed Pickering and Bausch at their office in Kenilworth. Mentored by Botha, Pickering started out in the industry as a story board designer for a trims and accessory business.

“I played on the edge of fashion in my early years, but I became serious about my career once I moved to London. My first role was for the iconic store Liberty where I was introduced to the world of incredible designs,” she says.

For Bausch, a Durban University of Technology fashion and textile design graduate, his first job in fashion was as Botha’s pattern maker. Now at the helm of what was his creation, the designers described their MBFWCT showcase as a “defining moment “ for the brand.

“The show was our official launch as a local Cape Town brand and more importantly as a tribute to Botha,” says Pickering

“We received an emotional standing ovation, proving that Botha’s creative legacy and DNA lives on through our continued hard work and in every design element of our collection,” she adds.

The talented designer duo, Bridget Pickering and Ludwig Bausch. Picture by SDR Photo

The talented designer duo, Bridget Pickering and Ludwig Bausch. Picture by SDR Photo

What were your inspirations for your SS16 collection? Our collection titled Mirror Mirror on the wall – Reflections has inspired our passion for print on print this SS16 season. A simple silhouette viewed “through the looking glass” to create multiple angles to dress multiple shapes, the designs offer women a dynamic balance between looking effortless, comfortable and stylish all in one piece. We have specifically developed our own prints for this collection, creating an inspirational visual feast through a kaleidoscope of shapes – an eclectic mix of monochrome, directional print blocking and always a bolt of vibrant colour. Simplicity is always the focus in our designs, creating a modern energy for the modern Ruff Tung woman.

How did you select the materials and colours? Our past and present has had a long love affair with statement prints. Tamarind Textiles came to the rescue with some beautiful prints exclusive to Ruff Tung. A strong design trait of ours is to colour and print block to create a flattering silhouette for our women. We believe that our prints and statement colour, deep cobalt, will set us apart from our competitors and make us the go to brand for woman of all shapes and sizes.

Describe the woman you envision wearing your clothes? Our designs, like the woman we dress, are ageless. The Ruff Tung women have busy lives, they want to have fun while looking good. Effortless and no fuss styling is key and our modern Ruff Tung woman appreciates this. We sell frocks, casual sophistication, easy-to-wear fashion and classic with a contemporary twist.

Who are your most influential fashion designers, and why? Our current influential designers are American fashion stylist Rachel Zoe for her effortless style, designer Diane von Furstenberg (DVF) for her business prowess and longevity, London’s leading retail marketing consultant Mary Portas for her ability to dress “real women” and Victoria Beckham for being a late fashion bloomer and taking the fashion world by storm.

Ruff Tung Lookbook

Ruff Tung Lookbook

What is your opinion on “high fashion” and do you aspire to becoming a popular high-end fashion label? We would love to be popular and be the go-to designer brand.

“Our aim would be to provide the combination of an affordable ready-to-wear collection, plus a “high end” more exclusive offering for those special luxury pieces.”

You have quite big shoes to fill: how do you ensure that the label still represents Jean-Paul Botha’s legacy? We have registered the business as “Tribute by Ruff Tung”, so not only are we a daily working tribute to the man who opened the fashion doors and gave us this opportunity, but we are working to achieve all the goals and aims that we agreed to as a team before he passed away.

Botha and ourselves started to streamline the business from a niché occasion wear brand to a more retail commercial business and this is what we will continue to do.

“We design with an honest approach to what women want.”

Picture by SDR Photo

Picture by SDR Photo

Picture by SDR Photo

Picture by SDR Photo

What can be done to encourage people to buy local or support local designers?
We don’t feel that the average consumer knows how many talented local designers are out there. Local fashion publications need to promote local more… it would be amazing to see a larger variety of local brands in the press.

There is a place for both local and international brands, but the more we support local, the more positive the impact on local manufacturing industry.

What trends do you currently see in the fashion industry?

“The current trends include the boho look and we are seeing a lot of off-the shoulder action, jumpsuits, as well as statement prints.”

What are your future plans for the brand? We will continue to build on our business, branching from E-tail into more retail opportunities. There is a demand for effortless, chic plus-size styles and we are all about dressing women across the fashion board.

What advice do you have for other aspiring fashion designers?

“This fashion business is not for sissies, so get a good background in business and a good mentor who will show you the business from the ground up.”

●Ruff Tung is sold at online shops E-Tail, Spree and Zando, and several shops nationwide such as The Bromwell.

This feature first was first published in the Cape Argus on September 29 2015. 

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town (MBFWCT) 2015 Trends Report

Tuelo Nguyuza By SDR Photo

Tuelo Nguyuza By SDR Photo

Flirty and feminine dresses and skirts in bold colours are back, and women will find themselves renewing their relationship with neon, eye-popping brights this spring and summer.

Designers Danielle Margaux, Habits and Lazuli led the colour revolution at a fashion event held in the city at the weekend. Their designs came in crop-tops, jumpsuits, kimono-style dresses and boho gypsy skirts. Another trend, as seen on the international runways, is wearing sneakers with dresses, skirts and suits, and presentations by local designers Adriaan Kuiters, Jody Paulsen and Leigh Schubert showed us how to get the trend just right. Kuiters and Paulsen’s collection, inspired by the artistic patterns of David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein and Sol Lewitt, presented an impressive sportsluxe collection of soft, neutral and bold prints paired with sneakers. Schubert paired romantic floral dresses with palladium sneakers.

Adriaan Kuiters and Jody Paulsen by SDR Photo

Adriaan Kuiters and Jody Paulsen by SDR Photo

Industry experts and fashionistas converged on the V&A Waterfront’s Watershed and North Wharf for the annual Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town (MBFWCT).
Twenty-four of the country’s top designers unveiled their spring and summer 2016 collections with multiple shows over the three-day period.

The collections included a range of ready-to-wear pieces, sports wear and swimwear, as well as wedding couture.

Noticeable trends included shoulder-baring silhouettes, and prints and patterns such as stripes, lace, floral and African prints on everything from dresses to jumpsuits. 

David Tlale by SDR Photo

David Tlale by SDR Photo

The collections included arange of ready-to-wear pieces,sports wear and swimwear,as well as wedding couture.Other noticeable trendsincluded shoulder-baring silhouettes,and prints and patterns suchas stripes, lace, floral and African prints on everything from dresses to jumpsuits.

Highlights included the David Tlale showcase held on Saturday morning at the Gallery MOMO in Buitengracht Street.

The fashion guru launched his bridalcollection, combining sheer and see through silhouettes in powder blue, yellow, multi-coloured animal print and metallic emerald-green for the adventurous bride.

“We are breaking all the rules of the traditional bride, but we are still keeping it chic and bold. “People have been brainwashed to wear white dresses with your typical lace adorned with Swarovski crystals to look like Cinderella,” says Tlale.

“Launching bridal-wear was a natural progression as a brand. “We are known for high-end couture and beautiful ready-to-wear pieces and it’s time we started embracing our brides because we have had big business on bridal wear that we never launched,” he
adds

David Tlale by SDR Photo

David Tlale by SDR Photo

Christiaan Gabriel du Toit of Klûk CGDT opted out of the traditional runway show, instead staging an exhibition at CAAM Collective Gallery at the De Waterkant Fringe.

The exhibition, KLuKCGD Tartisan, held in collaboration with Levi’s, includes photographic
prints by 10 of South Africa’s leading fashion photographers, among them: Trevor Stuurman, Sivan Miller, Neil Roberts and Simon Deiner. It runs until Saturday.

KLuKCGD Tartisan exhibition by SDR Photo

KLuKCGD Tartisan exhibition by SDR Photo

“This is a huge denim season and although it is something we toy with often, we have never really experimented with the options.

“We also wanted to show our clothes in a different way, something more lasting that allows the client to get a longer impression of the garments,” says Kluk.

“We chose the creatives based on our experience with them. “They are energetic
and passionate about what they do, they have been proactive in their careers and this excited us. “We also love the diversity in their work and personalities and it was important to let them shine,” he says.

Regarding the trends for the summer, Du Toit says that these are so diverse that they always take a southern hemisphere perspective on what is happening internationally.

“We take trends as a guide, not a bible. We know our customers and their lifestyle and their likes and dislikes and tailor the trends to suit them. “We love fabric and sometimes that dictates what we make.”

This feature was first published in the Cape Argus on August 5 2015.

Stefania Morland by SDR Photo

Stefania Morland by SDR Photo

Marianne Fassler by SDR Photo

Marianne Fassler by SDR Photo

Marianne Fassler by SDR Photo

Marianne Fassler by SDR Photo

Marianne Fassler by SDR Photo

Marianne Fassler by SDR Photo

Lazuli by SDR Photo

Lazuli by SDR Photo

Imprint by SDR Photo

Imprint by SDR Photo

Imprint by SDR Photo

Imprint by SDR Photo

Imprint by SDR Photo

Imprint by SDR Photo

Here are a few backstage pictures by photographer Neil Roberts.I love his cool unique style. Visit www.nrm.me for more of his work. 

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Budding models get insight into fashion industry

Keegan Basil and Azola Bam wearing Adriaan Kuiters and Jody Paulsen. Picture by Tracey Adams.

Keegan Basil and Azola Bam wearing Adriaan Kuiters and Jody Paulsen. Picture by Tracey Adams.

The life of a fashion model is often associated with the glitz and glamour of the industry, from dressing in designer wear to being beautified by makeup artists and hairstylist. However, not many outside the industry are aware of the hard work that takes place behind the scenes when organising a photo shoot or producing a runway show. Two budding Cape Town models were given the opportunity to experience the dynamics of the industry for a day. Keegan Basil, 23, and Azola Bam, 20, were treated to a model makeover after beating many hopefuls in a competition run by the Cape Argus, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town (MBFWCT) and M.A.C. Cosmetics.

The three-day fashion week starts today at the V&A Waterfront’s Watershed and North Wharf. It is attended by the who’s who of the industry, including designers, buyers, media and fashion photographers.

The two winners will attend one of the shows as part of their prize. Basil and Bam started their day at 10am at the Boaston Society Lifestyle Space in Long Street where they were styled in Imprint by Mzukisi Mbane. Mbane will be presenting his SS16 collection on Saturday at 3pm. Basil was dressed in Boaston Society’s in-house brand, UNNNCD.

This was followed by a visit to the Adriaan Kuiters studio in Kloof Street where the winning pair were dressed in the latest Adriaan Kuiters and Jody Paulsen collection. Their Spring and Summer showcase is tonight at 9.30pm.

 M.A.C. Cosmetics resident senior artist Keagan Cafun applying makeup on Azola. Picture by Tracey Adams

M.A.C. Cosmetics resident senior artist Keagan Cafun applying makeup on Azola. Picture by Tracey Adams

The winners received a special make-up tutorial by M.A.C. Cosmetics resident senior artist Keagan Cafun, who gave them the latest on makeup tips and tricks. Basil’s experience was topped off with being taught how to walk the runway by one of the country’s best runway models, Jimi Owobo Ogunlaja of the Jimisterio Catwalk Academy. When it comes to making an impression on the catwalk, Basil was not too far off in achieving the perfect runway walk, says Ogunlaja.

“Basil is a natural at it. However, he needs to work on walking with a straight back posture and avoid swinging his arms.

“When it comes to walking down the catwalk, it’s important to keep your head and shoulders straight. The movement is from your waist to your thighs and don’t exaggerate. Always remember it’s not about you, it’s about the garment you are wearing… and that’s what determines a good runway model,”says Ogunlaja.

Jimi Owobo Ogunlaja of the Jimisterio Catwalk Academy teaching Keegan how to walk on the runway. Picture by Tracey Adams.

Jimi Owobo Ogunlaja of the Jimisterio Catwalk Academy teaching Keegan how to walk on the runway. Picture by Tracey Adams.

Our winners ended the day with a photoshoot at the V&A Waterfront. Reflecting on
their experience, the highlights for Basil, an actor and presenter of the KeeganBshow
on Hashtag radio, included the runway tutorial and wearing designer clothes.

“Having Ogunlaja teaching me how to strut down the runway was a highlight for me as he is one of the models I look up to. I’ve taken in everything that he told me,” says Basil.

Bam’s highlights included learning the ins-and-outs of applying makeup. “I am so grateful for the opportunity I was given. I valued the experience, especially since I am still new in the industry.

“I got to learn about local designers and the backstage life,” says Bam, a student and model signed with casting agency Almost Famous.

●Ticket prices for the Mercedes- Benz Fashion Week Cape Town are R100 to R250. For tickets and more information on shows, go to: Webtickets (www.webtickets.co.za)

Azola wearing Imprint by Mzukisi Mbane. Picture by Tracey Adams.

Azola wearing Imprint by Mzukisi Mbane. Picture by Tracey Adams.

Keegan wears a top by Adriaan Kuiters and Jody Paulse. His pants is supplied by Boaston Society in-house brand UNNNCD. Picture by Tracey Adams

Keegan wears a top by Adriaan Kuiters and Jody Paulse. His pants is supplied by Boaston Society in-house brand UNNNCD. Picture by Tracey Adams

This feature was first published in the Cape Argus on July 30 2015.

Gender neutral is the new male on SA’s catwalks . SAMW Highlights

Imprint by Mzukisi Mbane

Imprint by Mzukisi Mbane

Pictures your boyfriend wearing dresses and pussy-bow blouses in chiffon and lace. The trend is called “androgyny” on catwalks across the world.

The word describes the fashion-conscious man who is not afraid to embrace his feminine side. We have seen it in recent menswear weeks in Milan and London.

The biannual South African Menswear Week, which took place over the weekend, showed that the new trend was finding a home on our shores.

The affair, held at Cape Town Stadium, featured top designers from around Africa showcasing their Spring and Summer (SS15/16) collections.

Designers like Terrence Bray, Rich Mnisi, Kim Gush and Lukhanyo Mdingi led the way in gender-fluid fashion. Their designs mixed masculine and feminine characteristics that could be worn by men and women.

African prints, leather, army aesthetics, stripes, shades of bold colours and neutral hues also dominated the catwalk. Industry experts, bloggers and fashion influencers from around the country gathered for three days of networking and schmoozing.

The nights were long as event-goers partied after the shows in various clubs around the city.

Presidential Shirt

Presidential Shirt

Presidential Shirt

Presidential Shirt

Presidential Shirt: Made famous by former president Nelson Mandela, the afrocentric “Madiba Shirt” is recognised around the globe. Designers presented a revamped collection suitable for younger men. The shirts and suits are hand-painted with delicate
embroidery silks and cotton.

Fundudzi Man by Craig Jacobs

Fundudzi Man by Craig Jacobs

Fundudzi Man by Craig Jacobs

Fundudzi Man by Craig Jacobs

Fundudzi Man by Craig Jacobs: Craig Jacobs presented models in
bold tribal make-up who strutted down the runway in extended T-shirts, reversible dresses and creative backpacks that became bomber jackets – a real show-stealer.

MaXhosa By Laduma

MaXhosa By Laduma

MaXhosa By Laduma

MaXhosa By Laduma

MaXhosa By Laduma

MaXhosa By Laduma

MaXhosa By Laduma

MaXhosa By Laduma

Maxhosa by Laduma: Laduma Ngxokolo has showcased in
top fashion weeks in Berlin and London. Ngxokolo, who incorporates his Xhosa culture into knitwear designs, presented breathable and reversible sweaters, joggers and shorts in bold patterns and colours.

Rich Mnisi

Rich Mnisi

Terrence Bray

Terrence Bray

Palse Homme

Palse Homme

Palse Homme

Palse Homme

Show Presentation: Designers went all out this year. Men in
gold beards by Palse Homme were a hit. Projecto Mental’s designer dressed models on the runway. In Magents’s show, titled Afrikarise, the audience clapped and sang as the “social konscious army” of
models took to the runway in urban streetwear.

Projecto Mental

Projecto Mental

Projecto Mental

Projecto Mental

Projecto Mental

Projecto Mental

 

This feature was first published in the Cape Argus on July 14 2015. All the pictures are by SDR Photos.

Top African designers will be displaying their SS16 collections at the South Africa Menswear Week.

Fundudzi

Fundudzi picture by SDR Photo 

Leading  African designers will be displaying their wares on and off the catwalk at the second South African Menswear Week (SAMW), the only menswearfocused fashion platform in Africa showcasing homegrown spring/summer (SS16) collections.

Over 28 African designers, including fashion labels from Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Angola, will present their SS16 collections from July 2 to 4 at the Cape Town Stadium. The designers who will present their creations in over 18 shows include FMBCJ by Craig Jacobs, Nguni Shades, Maxhosa by Laduma, Imprint by
Mzukisi Mbane, Lukhanyo Mdingi, Rich Mnisi and Projecto Mental from Angola.

Following a successful inaugural affair in February, one of the event’s organiser Simon Deiner says the event will feature a selection of new talent, as well as leaders of modern African design such as Laduma Ngxokolo and Orange Culture.

“SA Menswear Week is all about educating consumers to the sheer availability, quality, and design of local menswear against imported brands,” says Deiner.

“The focus of the event is to put viable, locally-made designs at the forefront of consumers… showing them that it is available, cost-effective and a real option.

“The shows will feature the best male models and world-class show production. We are excited about new elements, such as a trends presentation by Nicola Cooper, the young designers and the intern up-skilling programme, and things such as MAC and ghd showcasing the latest grooming trends,” says Deiner.

I spoke to three designers about their SS16 collections for the SAMW.

Jenevieve Lyons. Pic by SDR Photos.

Jenevieve Lyons. Pic by SDR Photos.

Jenevieve Lyons Cape Town-based designer

Tell us about your SS16 collection? Named Alabaster SS16, the collection draws on the minimal side of the brand with a clever use of print, texture and details. Zipped insets offer a morphed metamorphism on some garments, as well as extended lengths or shortened lengths as desired. While drawstrings tie the hoods to the anoraks, ribbing seams together sweater tops.

An interest is shown in sheer poly-cotton long length tees and shirts that are layered under and over garments. The collection sports a “warmer” colour palette – taking on the tonal values of granite: dark burnt orange, khaki, tobacco, toasted colours paired with cool whites, suited printed thick satins and seamen neoprenes – bonded and unbound. The materials were selected as they complement the season, lead themselves to interpreting different shapes and add texture as well as tonal values.

Jenevieve Lyons. By SDR Photos

Jenevieve Lyons. By SDR Photos

What was the inspiration behind the designs? Alabaster takes inspiration from the fine-grained texture found within golden brown granite, with often sparks of milky white texture in between. It is of this texture that a print was born that is emphasised throughout the collection. The collection speaks to the spring/summer season linking onto the misty sprigs of spring, with the use of smart minimal light layering and double and single layered anorak throughout.

How would you describe your collection in four words? Textured, minimal, tonal, and layered.

When and how did you first fall in love with fashion design? At a young age I fell in love with collecting “un-beautiful” and strange things; which then developed into a process of sketching these objects/ideas in different ways. I became interested in following a career in fashion as I saw it as a way to take my sketches to an actual tangible state and give them a functional purpose.

Describe the person you are designing for? Fashion-forward and fashion-conscious consumers.

Jenevieve Lyons by SDR Photo

Jenevieve Lyons by SDR Photo

The best spring/summer must-haves? An anorak.

What sets your brand apart from the others? The aesthetic that the brand carries: conceptual minimalism – garments are often built three dimensionally: inwards and outwards and the process of the brand reinterpreting the runway collections into prêt-a-porter ready to wear.

If you had the choice of all designers in the world to work with/for, who would that be?
This is a tough one. I’d choose to collaborate with a young upcoming designer such as Korean designer Byungmun Seo.

Does your brand reflect your personal fashion taste? Can you describe your
style? Both are minimally articulated.

What are your plans for the future? Continue on the process of growing the brand at a steady pace, tap into the physical in store retail space and installation, as well as complete my masters degree in fashion design at the fashion department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp.

Kim Gush by SDR Photo

Kim Gush by SDR Photo

Kim Gush Joburg-based designer of label KIM/GUSH. 

Tell us about your SS16 collection? We are going back to basics – clean silhouettes and little fuss. Less is more after all, especially in summer.

What were your inspirations for the designs?
The simplicity of outlines and foundations.

How would you describe your collection in four words? Ghetto, fetish, sports luxe.

When and how did you first fall in love with fashion design? I’ve always been intrigued by film and while working in that industry my love for costume and clothing drew me closer to the fashion industry.

Describe the person you are designing for? Open-minded and confident individual with a need for luxurious, edgy and comfortable hybrid.

The best spring/summer must-haves? Luxury oversized tees and some bad-ass sneakers.

What sets your brand apart from the others? We all have a different story to tell.

If you had the choice of all designers in the world to work with/for, who would that be? Mentor – Master Yohji Yamamoto. Collaboration – Alexander Wang.

Does your brand reflect your personal fashion taste? Can you describe your style?
I love the ranges I create but I do not personally always wear them. You have to focus on your consumer and how you can deliver to their needs while sticking to your brand ethics and vision.

What are your plans for the future? Right now we want to make KIM/GUSH as accessible and available to the consumer as possible. Our online store will be up soon after SAMW and we are working on more tangible points of access across the country as well as globally.

We will also be adding some more women-focused garments amongst our collections to combine with the already androgynous garments we present at menswear weeks.

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Abrantie The Gentleman by SDR Photo

Abrantie The Gentleman by SDR Photo

Designer Adebayo Oke-Lawal of Orange Culture. Pic is supplied.

Designer Adebayo Oke-Lawal of Orange Culture. Pic is supplied.

Adebayo Oke-Lawal Orange Culture, a Lagos, Nigeria-based fashion label.

Tell us about your upcoming SAMW SS16 collection? I am super excited to be a part of South Africa Menswear Week – celebrating men’s fashion in Africa.

My collection is battling the ideology of the African man – that stereotype which has always been a thing for my brand. We explore delicate sensual fabrics matched with light but sporty fabrics to execute our Orange Culture tale of the fisherman and his beautiful journey.

Orange Culture. The picture is supplied.

Orange Culture. The picture is supplied.

What were your inspirations for the designs? My inspiration was drawn from
the amazing fishermen I spoke to. Growing up I would see them fishing under the third mainland bridge in Lagos, dressed in the most stylish gear. I wanted to explore the beautiful journey of these men and their relationships.

How would you describe your collection in four words? Androgynous, light, sensual and Nigerian

When and how did you first fall in love with fashion design? When I was 10-yearsold and my teachers realised all my notebooks in school were covered with fashion sketches…Fashion helped me to find myself.

Describe the person you are designing for? I design for the modern day nomad who is not afraid to explore his feminine side, and who is in love with the idea of individuality. He loves clothes that tell a story… a story that breaks stereotypes.

The best spring/summer must-haves? Anything from the Orange Culture SS16collection and a smile.

What sets your brand apart from the others? My label is self-inspired. It represents my unique experiences and I feel that’s what makes it stand out – my story.

If you had the choice of all designers in the world to work with/for, who would that be? Karl Lagerfeld – to learn more about the business side of things, matched with his creativity. Does your brand reflect your personal fashion taste?

Can you describe your style? It does, my style is quite light but unique. I love exploring almost sensual silhouettes.

What are your plans for the future? To take over the world one step at a time, but, in the short-term, find a stockist in South Africa.

Orange Culture image by OBI SOMTO

Orange Culture image by OBI SOMTO

The SA Menswear Week takes place from July 2 2015  to the 4th. Tickets are available on WebTickets (www.webtickets.co.za) for selected shows. All ticket holders will have access to the blue carpet VIP fashion event taking place on Saturday, July 4. All shows will be streamed live and image galleries will be uploaded immediately to http://www.menswearweek.co.za

This feature first appeared in the Cape Argus on June 25 2015.

Durban Fashion Fair 2014 Highlights

I attended the Durban Fashion Fair last month (21 – 24 August)where designers showcased their Spring/Summer collections. Here are my top favourites. All pictures by SDR Photography

Zarth

Zarth

Zarth

Zarth

Minnie Dlamini for Zarth

Minnie Dlamini for Zarth

Zarth

Zarth

Zarth

Zarth

Zarth

Zarth

Zarth

Zarth

Nguni Shades

Nguni Shades

Palse

Palse

Shadow by Sidumiso

Shadow

Shadow

Shadow

Shadow

Shadow

Shadow

Ayanda Mthembu

Ayanda Mthembu

Black Pepper

Black Pepper

Colleen Eitzen

Colleen Eitzen

Colleen Eitzen

Colleen Eitzen

Terrence Bray

Terrence Bray

Terrence Bray

Terrence Bray

Terrence Bray

Terrence Bray

Rebelious Klothing

Rebelious Klothing

Rebelious Klothing

Rebelious Klothing

Massimo Crivelli

Massimo Crivelli

Massimo Crivelli

Massimo Crivelli

Massimo Crivelli

Massimo Crivelli