Q&A: Suzaan heyns

Before I start…
The phrase of the moment = “The business of fashion” is what inspired all these musings. Bear with me please because for some reason or other I do care.
A couple of posts ago, post Joburg Fashion Week, I silently and openly on my blog wondered about the relevance of fashion week / s in our country with regards to the designers showing and the “business of fashion.” I am not a fashion designer. I am not putting together a collection and working every day to make sure that my marketing and product all result in a successful brand and in retail success, so there is no way I could speculate on the answer. So I asked some of my favourite designers from the JFW pool.


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

Yes it was a successful in a marketing capacity, we had some international buyers that were interested in expanding our brand and the spin off from the media support is growing by the second.

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?

I am very lucky to have business partners to take care of that as it is fashion is a business, the fortunate thing about that is I get to focus mainly on design and honing my craft. I think all designers should have a business facet as we are trying to grow the business of fashion in our country. By focusing on this I have recently been able to explore retail possibilities resulting in us opening a store in April.

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 relevant, this year AFI has done a wonderful job in creating a greater awareness of South African fashion to both the South African and international public.

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