Describe your Skip monochrome collection in 3 words.
Authentic, personal and elevated.
2) Describe the pieces you’ve put together for your Skip monochrome collection.
My inspiration comes from everywhere and everything. I draw inspiration back to the 60’s, my roots and where I come from. For example, looking at the silhouette of my designs – I take inspiration from the original woman, my mom. But I also just look around, you’ll see, it’s very visually exciting. You can see the identity of IMPRINT ZA in so many things, local and foreign. It’s supposed to be ladies wear but there’s no concept of ladies wear in my collection, a lot of the pieces are gender-bending.
3) What was the best thing about conceptualising these pieces with Skip?
For me, just the concept of creating a collection with a brief was exciting. Having to create garments that are true to myself, whilst at the same time showing understanding and respecting Skip’s brand identity. I also really enjoyed learning more about the brand.
4) What fabric have you used?
I have used printed cotton, cotton blends, and poplin – the type of poplin that I used is very thin, which is guided by the brief that we were given from Skip. They were looking for something that is sustainable. It’s super light and doesn’t absorb a lot of water, also it doesn’t stain easily making it an easy choice.
5) What is your favourite piece and why?
Definitely the long coat, because it’s the most flexible. It’s a dress when you want it to be a dress, it’s a coat when you want it to be a coat, and it also moves between ladies wear and menswear. So, you know, you can steal it from your boyfriend and he could steal it from you.
Monochrome dressing for the longest time has been looked at like something that’s purely minimalistic. I wanted to move away from the fact that when you’re wearing monochrome, you want to be looked at as someone who is simple. I wanted something that was going to be a statement.
6) How would you describe monochrome dressing?
Again, there needs to be a statement somewhere. Going back to the fact that the look needs to be elevated. Usually people think statement only links to print. But a statement piece is supposed to be something, anything that makes an impression. It could be the powerful coat in solid black, but it needs to be, like, when you walk into a room, people need to remember that moment. So, you need to have a statement piece.
7) What would you say are key fashion items to mastering the monochrome look?
The fact that people are no longer going to be coming back to us and saying, ‘your fabric is losing its colour!’, that’s like the coolest thing (laughs). If you bought it black, and buy SKIP Perfect Darks, it will remain black. If it’s white, it will remain white and newer for longer.
8) What’s your favourite SKIP formula (SKIP Perfect WHITES or SKIP Perfect DARKS) and how did you consider this formula whilst designing your garments?
My favourite Skip formula has got to be Skip Perfect Whites. I have not used a lot of black in my designs before, they have mostly been white so the concept of a formula that keeps white clothing white for longer, without harming the fabric quality excites me. This then influenced my fabric choice of a monochromatic print. In the end, consumers will be able to keep their bright clothing white for longer while keeping the integrity of the fabric.
9) As a designer, how do you feel collaborations such as these can benefit the fashion industry?
We can’t run away from the fact that the local fashion industry needs support from big brands. When a big household brand collaborates with a local designer, people instantly turn their focus to local fashion. People then recognise and add value to local fashion. The brand association is very powerful.
10) Do you think well-deserved opportunities like this say anything about the world’s readiness for more African creativity?
Definitely! Opportunities like these are reflective of where the world is going. This highlights that foreigners are looking at what is happening globally with a spotlight on African creativity. The world is looking at Africa and it’s about time that we celebrate.
11) As a designer why do you feel it is important to preserve the colour in your clothes?
When a client buys a designer piece they are buying more than just a piece. They are buying into your story, your identity and most importantly the quality. Good, rich colour that lasts longer makes good quality fabric, superior for longer. The longer it looks new, the better it is for my client.
12) Where do you see South African fashion evolving in the next year?
I love that we are finally at a place where we accept change. The industry is now a lot more accepting of young brands with different perspectives. The likes of, Lukhanyo Mdingi, Rich Mnisi, Thebe Magugu and Imprint ZA – all young guys who are not afraid to speak their mind through the work that they do. Fashion in South Africa has always been very calm and uniform and most importantly not inclusive. But having observed how much has changed over the years it gives me great hope – also all this is happening at a time where the world is embracing and celebrating African creatives and African creativity.