Stiaan Louw

Q&A: Stiaan Louw

STIAAN LOUW:

Stiaan Louw is really very talented. The reason why he made it onto my favourite designers list is because I think he really is a truly visionary designer, who pays immense attention to detail and to what he says with his collections on the runway.

Sometimes I go to shows and I can’t see the story, I don’t feel moved, there is no voice in the collection and I walk away with nothing to say but “let’s go to the bar.” That hasn’t happened in any of the shows I have watched by Stiaan Louw.
Has participating in fashion week benefited your business? Can you quantitatively attribute retail success, business or retail ventures to your participation in fashion week?
The benefit of participating in fashion week is always tangible. Selling contemporary menswear in South Africa but also Africa as a whole is incredibly difficult, yet the brand exposure via a platform such as fashion week lead to a larger brand awareness and growth amongst private clients who approach the brand.
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?
It is about the balance. It is important to present a collection that is coherent and sellable and at the same time it is also important to push the boundaries subtly with each collection. Fashion is about desirability and aspiration. Anna Wintour once said about Christopher Bailey that he had the perfect balance between art and commerce and that is what makes a good designer. This is something I try to remember when I design.
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.
It is about the balance. It is important to present a collection that is coherent and sellable and at the same time it is also important to push the boundaries subtly with each collection. Fashion is about desirability and aspiration. Anna Wintour once said about Christopher Bailey that he had the perfect balance between art and commerce and that is what makes a good designer. This is something I try to remember when I design.
Image from: http://liveoutloud.co.za/
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