A fashion designer with a good head on their shoulders is hard to come by and Isabel de Villiers is one of those. She is fairly new to being a designer of her own label, but with experience and common sense she is taking one step at a time with her business. Her simply beautiful creations are testament to the success she is sure to achieve in the future.
1) When did your love of fashion begin?
My love for fashion comes from my love of art. Fashion Design is the direction I choose to express my love for art.
2) After working in the industry, why did you decide to start your own label?
I always wanted to have my own business. I gained invaluable insight and knowledge working in the Industry before going on my own. It was scary starting and I’m still not sure I’m doing it right but I highly recommend working in the industry for a couple of years before you start your own label.
3) You cater for different ages and sizes, what is the reason behind this?
I design clothing for the South African women – my friends, sisters, my mom and her friends – “Real women”. I design with all of these different age, body shapes and lifestyles in mind.
4) What do you think more South African women should be doing regarding fashion choices?
They should dress for their shape, not size as it’s about feeling good, it’s not all about fashion. They should shop for quality items from local designers. We have amazing talent in this country. Please don’t buy cheap imports.
5) What is the biggest mistake SA women often make?
Being afraid of colour or a bold print. Fashion is a lot of fun and they should celebrate expressing themselves through this medium. Buy according to your shape not your size – It’s all about proportions and focus points. It is extremely important to buy local as it grows business and employs people. Cheap imports are killing business, so look at your labels.
6) How would you describe the Isabel de Villiers clothing?
In 2012 Isabel de Villiers Clothing was born. The label caters for women of different ages and shapes. Special attention is given to the plus size girl with sizes ranging from 32 – 44. The South African women’s shape is her main inspiration. She is also inspired by everything around her, it is not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. She has a passion for colour, prints and design details. Her designs are simplistic and fun with an emphasis on quality. All garments are proudly produced in-house at her studio in Cape Town.
7) Why is it important to you to produce locally?
All my garments are produced in Cape Town. I am growing the industry through making people aware of the importance of shopping locally. It’s very important to me to create employment in this country. All my team members take care of their families.
8) What are your thoughts on the Cape Town Fashion industry?
We are very lucky to be surrounded by so much talent and creativity in Cape Town. Cape Town Fashion Council provides development and support to the local fashion industry through workshops, skill development, business support and access to a great Technology and Innovation centre. Cape Town is the place to be, especially being the World Design Capital in 2014; it’s going to be booming with creativity.
9) How has it been selling your clothes online?
It has been great! I sell online through Spree. Having my garments available for women from Pofadder to Potchefstroom is amazing. It grows my client base and thus grows my business. Online shopping is so convenient and seriously addictive! Proudly South African design just a click away!
10) Tell us more about your summer 2014 collection…
I was inspired by all the fun activities I planned for Summer. I always have a lifestyle in mind when planning a range. I would like to go for High tea, thus The Tea Dress, I will be going to the beach, thus the Printed Kaftan, and I will be going to the theatre, thus The Jumpsuit. I’m creating something for every occasion.
Colour and prints always play a big part in my range. It’s all about how you feel when wearing a coral soft flowy Maxi Dress: confident and relaxed. I want women to have confidence when wearing my clothes; I want them to feel good about themselves. Celebrate being an independent and confident woman in South African.
11) What are you currently working on?
Some lovely cocktail dresses for the festive season
12) What can we expect in the future from Isabel de Villiers?
I will be expanding my range with accessories. Beautiful leather belts and bags for Winter. I am also working with an artist to develop a couple of prints for the next range. I am very excited!