Q&A: Loin Cloth & Ashes


Has participating in fashion week benefited your business? As in, can you attribute retail success, business or retail ventures to your participation in fashion week?

Participating in anything that has to do with the marketing of my brand is beneficial but also one must think about how to use the feed back to best compliment the business. My small brand cannot only rely on fashion week for retail success. It’s an ongoing, yearly process. There while fashion weeks that I am involved in are running I still maintain retail and manage private clients.

Are you as a designer, always thinking in terms of the business of fashion, retail possibilities etc? Or is it more about the pieces, the craft and the artistry?

If I could I would design and give my pieces out for free. But it’s the principle. I need to carry on this label to the next and the next season and have some stake in the market. It’s important to do what you love and earn a living out of it too. So I think it’s both, one cannot function without the other. I think about the business and about the craft.

Which would you pick…Fashion week being scrapped in exchange for the money spent on producing the four days of fashion week being given to designers such as yourself to grow your businesses and expand? Or is that just a dumb question? My fundamental question is centred around whether Fashion Week is relevant in this country.

I think Fashion week is relevant because it is relevant in our times. Fashion has taken the front seat in other industries as well. It’s image, image, image. It always has been. I think that Africa, as a whole is catching up to that and we are using this to our full advantage. However in saying this, I do think having too much of a good thing can have a bad after taste. We cannot except to ride a fancy car that does tricks if the engine doesn’t work properly or the wheels are about to fall off. People, meaning designers and people/companies/government/other businesses, interested in investing in young businesses, need to spend more time in the studios, perfecting a good thing, rather than stressing and spending a lot of money to do a show that last 7 to 10 minutes

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