Who is Anees Petersen?
I’m the creative director and founder of the sports luxe brand, Young and Lazy and also work as a stylist. I was born and bred in Cape Town, South Africa specifically Woodstock and my work represents a lot of my background and where I come from.
Could you give a brief description of Young & Lazy?
I started Young and Lazy 6 years ago and what I thought was a streetwear brand has now evolved into a platform for me to tell my story as a Cape Malay in South Africa. I channel a lot of my heritage, upbringing, and culture and just what I see on a day to day basis into the brand.
What’s your motto?
I don’t really have a motto but I guess I believe in treating others the way you would like to be treated.
What sparked your interest in fashion?
I guess just growing up in Woodstock in the 90’s and seeing the older guys always dressed well generally in streetwear. I started taking note of how they put outfits together with the latest Jordan or Nike and saw it as a skill. I then started putting looks of my own together and actually started customizing and making my own clothing due to the fact that I didn’t always have access to the best clothing.
What made you take fashion more seriously and make a career out of it? Have you always known it’s what you want to do?
I actually wanted to be a social worker then changed to a cartoonist but in grade 7 I already knew that I wanted to pursue a career as a designer. I was fortunate to have an amazing design teacher in High school who encouraged me into taking it more seriously and made me believe that I was making the right career decision.
What is your favourite part about being a designer?
Just being able to make whatever you want.
How has your work evolved since you began your own label?
In the beginning I was always emulating international trends and looking at existing collections or designers for inspiration. I found that subconsciously my work started looking like a South African version of an international trend. Only about 2 years ago I started drawing inspiration from experiences, a feeling, music and my own culture.
Are there any types of clothing that you avoid wearing?
Not really, I try not to wear a lot of graphic based pieces and anything that would be offensive to anyone.
Does your approach differ when designing menswear compared to womenswear?
Not really, even though I’m recognized as a menswear designer, I actually prefer doing womenswear personally as there is more freedom and fun in designing for a woman. My process is still the same though.
What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
90s Gabber style rave and the connection to the rave culture here in South Africa in the early 2000s. I guess I’m adapting the shapes and silhouettes and trying to capture the energy.
What advice would you give to young designers?
Stop praising other people more than yourself and stop looking to international trends for inspiration. Our country is so rich in culture and inspiration and that’s what is going to set you apart from anyone else. Just be original.
What would you like to achieve before the end of the year?
I’d like to take the brand international.
Who is your favourite person in fashion at the moment and why?
It’s not necessarily a person but more a brand called Sunnei and it’s because they have such a solid brand aesthetic and identity. Everything they do stays true to themselves and that’s what I really admire.
What role do you think social media plays in fashion today?
It’s the window to the world and making the world a smaller place. We are a DM away from reaching our goals.
This is your first fashion show in Joburg, why now?
It’s actually the second one but it is my first independent show. I have always been received well in Joburg and because of past situations, I’ve never been able to focus on Joburg as much as I do on Cape Town. Well that has changed this year and I am hoping to create more of a presence in Jhb as there are a lot of younger guys that I feel I appeal to there and I hope that It’s important to show that you appreciate them and their continuous support.
What can we expect to see from you in this upcoming collection?
A little bit of Cape Town culture, I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel or wow people with over the top silhouettes or pieces. I just want to create a desirable ready to wear collection that is more simple, clean and minimal but still makes an impact.