Showing casing for the first time at the Windhoek Fashion Week ’18. This emerging designers are working tirelessly on making their fashion label the most talked about in Namibia to date.
We caught up with these tow young and talented fashion designers this week about what inspires them and their journey to Paris Fashion Week.
M: Tell us about your personal relationship with fashion design and when your love for fashion started.
N: When I think of my personal relationship with fashion design, I instantly go back to the way fashion designing makes me feel can somehow be described as a love hate relationship because it simultaneously takes so much of me yet I cannot go a day without it. Fashion designing isn’t all fun and games. It only becomes worth it when you see your hard work walking down a runway or the brightest smile on your clients face. That is the what makes it worth the while for me. I remember dressing up in my grandmother’s clothes when I was about 7 years old or younger, manipulating and draping scarves to become full garments and wobbling around in her over-sized heals.
L: Since I was very little, I was always picky with what I would wear. My mom could never lay out my clothes without there being an issue. I was the little girl that needed to give input in what I wanted to wear. This was especially noticeable on my dad’s side of the family. It would somehow spark conversation drawing closer to the time of family events.Since I was very little, I was always picky with what I would wear. My mom could never lay out my clothes without there being an issue. I was the little girl that needed to give input in what I wanted to wear. This was especially noticeable on my dad’s side of the family. It would somehow spark conversation drawing closer to the time of family events.
M: Describe a Jeaneva client… What is he/she like?
N: Ambitious, successful and comfortable in their own skin is what Jeaneva clients are. They always strive to put their best foot forward and imprint a well-represented impression on others. They take on challenges face to face and do so by looking their absolute best while feeling comfortable, confident and empowered.
L: I like to think that my work ethic can accommodate a very broad client base as long as the vision is there. As someone with a creative character and now a designer, I have a genuine appreciation for refabricating so I generally draw inspiration from my surroundings to add textile or detail to the fabric and then incorporating it to whatever style or mood it satisfies.
M: What would you like to achieve before the end of the year (personally/professionally).
N: Firstly, I appreciate being asked questions about my goals and what I want to achieve because then I am held accountable for them. So, before the year ends I would like to have reached a larger target market and have a fully-fledged running fashion business. I want Namibia to be able to wear locally produced products more habitually and to solely be able to entrust local fashion designers with their everyday wear. I also aim to carry on and complete my studies next year.
L: I, first of all, would like to say that I am very grateful for the interest that the new Fashion Council has shown in my vision. Since last year, I thought of having an event to announce my brand officially this year. The fashion council has given me a form of assurance in having this event, alongside Nicole J Schmidt, to show my country more of me and what my brand actually is all about and I am excited to have that become a reality mid-2019. Thereafter, I will be investing all my time and effort into a new collection to deliver the best quality to the Paris Fashion Week platform in February 2020.
M: Your journey to Paris Fashion Week, how did that come to life?
N: Last year November I took part in Windhoek Fashion Week and then Oxford Fashion Studio discovered me from that platform which led to them sending me an invitation to showcase at Paris Fashion Week.
L: As new as this journey is, it has been a real blessing. In 2018, I kept my eye on the Windhoek Fashion Week applications not knowing how I would be able to fund for it and just then my uncle approached my designer cousin and I with a sponsorship agreement. I managed to showcase a collection on this platform and got noticed internationally. I received an email from the Oxford Fashion Studio saying that they have come across my work and are very impressed with my talent. With this email, they invited me to showcase in New York, Paris, London or Milan. After a conversation of getting to know more about my brand, I chose Paris.
M: How are you preparing for that?
N: I am in the process of creating a new and better collection to showcase in Paris. We will be leaving to Paris in February/March 2020. The fine details will be announced by full payment of the quote issued by Oxford Fashion Council nearing the time. We are busy raising funds by selling raffle tickets and approaching larger companies for sponsorship as we’ll need N$ 150, 000.00 to be able to take part in such a prestigious event. I will be showcasing alongside other upcoming designers from all over the world.
L: By making this news public the aim is to have people be a part of this opportunity. Initially, there was a show for September 2019 but the best decision was to plan for February/March 2020 instead. This allows more time to deliver quality and to outrun possible obstacles. Jeaneva and I will be on this journey together and we really just look forward to getting public support from a country as well.
M: What should we be expecting in your collection that you will be showcasing in Paris, France?
N: I can’t reveal too much information but you can expect fine craftsmanship and tailoring while embracing a Namibian taste featuring silhouettes and re-fabrication inspired by Namibian geography and nature.
L: One thing about me is that I have a very symmetrical mind-set. It’s a form of balance and a neat way of alignment. Through the collection that I am working on for Paris, I have decided to challenge that mind-set in order to mentally relax myself and to stress less about that precision when it comes to simpler things in life through asymmetry. As a sign of carrying my country along with me and remembering where I come from I will be incorporating the outline of our Namibian map as a silhouette as well as with textile detail.
5 fun facts Nicole would like people to know about:
I somehow make people laugh with my dry humor that I’m mostly not aware of.
I’m in love with Asian food, specifically Vietnamese Pho and Korean noodles (Neoguri). Any friends that would like to start an Asian food club, just contact me.
I believe that I should have been born in the roaring 20’s or 30’s. The fashion in that time was simply immaculate and their silhouettes were endlessly classy.
My son, Maya Angelou and Christian Dior are my biggest inspiration.
I love working in tidy and beautiful spaces.
5 fun facts Libi would like people to know about:
My absolute favourite word is perception
I am left-handed
Looking at the first fact makes me cringe a little because the word favourite seems compromising when I like to feel limitless
In a Kardashian world, I am the Kim of my dad’s side of the family and the Khloe of my mom’s side but I’m more into Kourtney’s fashion sense.
My mom actually wanted to name me Courtney. Dad thought it was a boy name but if I were a boy my name would be Romario.