Suzaan Heyns on Cape Town Fashion Week

The woman behind the dress nominated for 2012 Design Indaba’s “Most Beautiful Object in South Africa” shines a light on the catwalk

Though Suzaan Heyns, the Joburg-based fashion designer whose fish scale dress (Design Indaba) and progressive cement-driven collection (2012 Johannesburg Fashion Week) have earned quite a reputation, won’t be attending this year’s Cape Town Fashion Week, we managed to convince the cutting edge artist to share her stylish insight on what to expect on this year’s Mother City catwalk.

As a South African designer who’s established herself as a risk-taker, and as a person who likes to break the rules of convention, we expected her answers to carry a hint of the unknown; but, as it turns out, the unknown is just what’s so fabulous about Cape Town Fashion Week. 

CapeTownMagazine: Why is fashion week so important for a designer?

Suzaan: Fashion week is a great platform to show your ideas for the season in dramatic setting. I love doing fashion shows, as it is a creative way of telling a visual story through an experience. Plus it’s a lot of fun!

CapeTownMagazine: Does exhibiting at such a high-profile event have any affect on a designer’s clothing sales?

Suzaan: Yes, it could definitely increase the sales-percentage of your stock; but personally, we (designers) use fashion weeks more as a marketing platform for the brand than for direct sales.

CapeTownMagazine: What are your fashion predictions for this year’s Cape Town Fashion Week?

Suzaan: Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend this year’s Cape Town Fashion Week, but for me, the exciting thing about it is the diversity of the designers: they always surprise us! I would say expect the unexpected. 

CapeTownMagazine: On a similar note, what are the fashion essentials to look out for this spring?

Suzaan: Crisp whites accentuated with metallics are a definite must for this spring.

CapeTownMagazine: Would you say South African fashion is on par with the overseas industry?

Suzaan: I think South Africa has come a long way in the past decade. Although we are still playing catch-up on the whole, I think with the immense international turnover in fashion, the potential is definitely there to grow our industry to their standard.

CapeTownMagazine: Who would you say are the up-and-coming South African fashion designers?

Suzaan: I really like the classic designs of Christopher Strong. I believe that timeless pieces are an essential part of any wardrobe. On the other side, I also like the modern edginess of Avant Apparel.

CapeTownMagazine: What are your top fashion tips?

  • Dress for your figure;
  • have fun with  your accessories;
  • invest in the classics!

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Find out more about Cape Town Fashion Week, as well as details about the Official After Party.
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