Monday, March 23, 2015

SA Fashion Week

Whenever I walk into the Crowne Plaza for Fashion Week I feel like I'm home.This year was one of my favourite SA Fashion Weeks because both the designers and event organisers of Fashion Week seem to have gone the extra mile.
One of the main sponsors of Fashion Week, Rimmel, set up their London telephone booth styled make up stands and nail stations where you could get your nails and make up done. Edgars had a photo station for full length outfit photos as well as a mani cam to show off your manicure! These fashion related activities really added to the Fashion Week experience.
I was fortunate enough to experience most of the shows at SAFW, however, with two shows in particular really standing out for me. The first show being 'Wake' - which saw models with the bold print on print walked onto the runway. Not often do I find myself liking almost every piece in one collection with this show proving a rare exception. Print on print is not usually done in a classy manner, however this designer showed how to do it best.
My next favourite show was the Marvel inspired collections. Five designers were tasked with the challenge of creating superhero inspired garments for this show, in wake of the new Marvel Avengers movie that will be coming to cinemas soon. I was privileged to speak to one of the designers after the show who designed the collection called "zero," he said that working with Fashion Week and Disney was an exciting challenge as well as enjoyable. His work can be found in Egality in Parkhurst along with fashion editor, Chusuwannapha's collection too. 
The media got invited to speak to the Marvel designers inside the media room which was decorated brightly with Marvel comic wallpaper. The press hurried inside excitedly to receive a goodie bag with an Avengers shirt inside while indulging in treats laid out on the table in the form of a candy bar, not to forget the Avengers decorated cupcakes!
My looks for fashion week this year were mostly proudly South African:
Day 1:
I wore a jumpsuit from The Space designed by Lee Schubert with a vintage blazer from Asseblief.
Day 2:
This amazing maxi top was from a new start up designer that I found in the Sies!Isabelle studio in midrand. The name of the brand is ''Her Ritual''.
Chusuwannapha and I.
Day 3:
The dress is from The Space designed by Pengelly. I have become obsessed with choker style necklaces with the featured piece from Lovisa.
Day 4:
Last but not least I found this amazing designer piece by Suzaan Heyns at a bargain at the designer sample sale that happened in Melrose Arch a few weeks back. The dress retails at R1200 but for a limited period only sale I got it for R197.
Overall fashion week was an absolute blast. Thank you to Rimmel and SA Fashion Week for the hospitality and the amazing goodie bags! I cant wait to see the SA Talent on show later this year.
All the gifts from the media bag and complimentary tickets given to me by SAFW.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Taking Cotton On to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

The fashion weeks all over the world have been going on in full swing over the past few weeks and Johannesburg was no exception. Mercedes Benz Fashion Week brought to you by AFI was from the 5th to the 7th of March at Melrose Arch.

I attended several shows (Khosi Nkosi, Gavin Rajah, AFI fast track to name a few) and saw some amazing South African talent which definitely made me proud as well as inspired! One of my personal highlights was the Sunglass Hut photo station where you could try on their sunglasses and get your photo taken and printed out on the spot.


It's always refreshing to see some old and new faces at fashion week:
 Aqeelah from the Fashion Breed blog.
This year I was privileged enough to be able to select and style clothing, shoes and accessories from the current Cotton On range for MBFW. These were the looks I put together for the three days of fashion week:
 Day 1:

These chunky platforms are one of my new favourite shoes!
Chusuwannapha and I.

Day 2:

I wore this quirky "Limited tee" over the trumpet styled dress.

 Day 3:

In light of my recent collaboration with Cotton On below is some insight about the brand from an interview with Jeff Clements, the Marketing Manager for Cotton On in South Africa:
•             Do you think Cotton On has been doing well in the SA market?
Cotton On has been very well received in the SA market. A big part of our appeal is that there’s always something new in-store! We regularly update our offering so if you see something in-store you like today you better get it, because it may not be here next week (it will be replaced by something else you’ll probably love).
We were voted one of the coolest clothing stores in the last Sunday Times Generation Next Survey after only being in the Country for two and a half years which is fantastic as this is feedback directly from the customers. We do our best to offer great fashion at an affordable price and this resonates with the SA consumer.

•             What does the future of Cotton On entail within the SA market?
We are looking into launching an online store in South Africa and aim to have 300 stores across the Cotton On Group in South Africa by 2018.

•             Can you tell me a bit about sourcing and placing garments for the brand?
All our designs are created in our Australian Head Office and rolled out globally to the 17 countries we operate in (over 1300 stores). People often think when international retailers come to South Africa, they use SA as an outlet to sell old stock from the last season, but with Cotton On what you see in stores today is the same product you will find currently in Australia. Our speed to market and global relevance is important. Customers know what’s trending overseas and they want it now, not next season and we are able to provide customers with the latest fashion at an affordable price (plus a great range of on-trend basics).

•             Can you describe the typical Cotton On consumer in a few words?
The Cotton On customer is like the Cotton On brand... Real, authentic, laid back... not trying to be something they’re not. In a few words... effortlessly cool.

•             Is Cotton On planning to expand anywhere in Johannesburg or SA this year? If so, where?
Yes, we have many stores planned – not just in JHB but all over SA. If there isn’t one near you, there will be soon. We’re also opening up our first store in Namibia later this year.
 I would like to say a special thanks to Cotton On SA, Leigh Newlands who I've been corresponding with as well as Jeff Clements for the opportunity to work with them and wear the brand.

Until next time, that's a wrap!