#SAFW Designer Q&A – Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs

A name that is no stranger to the South African fashion industry, Craig Jacobs, will up the ante this season with his Spring/Summer collection which is being shown at O.R. Tambo International Airport for SA Fashion Week. He tells us the reason for choosing this location as well as the inspiration behind the collection.

Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs at SA Fashion Week S/S 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.
Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs at SA Fashion Week S/S 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.

1) Being an owner of an established brand, how do you evolve to stay relevant in an ever-changing industry?

They say you are only as good as your last collection, and considering that the fashion world revolves around showcasing two seasons a year – spring/summer and autumn/winter – there is a tremendous amount of pressure to continually up the ante. For me, being present – always exploring new things, immersing yourself with culture and the way society is changing – is vital to tapping into things, and that is how I try to stay relevant. I am a voracious reader, and I try to keep up to date on current affairs – those things really get my creative juices working!

Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs at SA Fashion Week S/S 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.
Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs at SA Fashion Week S/S 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.

2) Can you tell us more about what you’ll be showing at SA Fashion Week?

This is my second season where I will be taking my collection off-site, and I am blessed that the Airports Company South Africa has allowed me to showcase my collection at O.R. Tambo International Airport in the city of Ekurhuleni. I think I have a fascination with airports because they are a metaphor for movement and change, and travel enables us to open our eyes to new and wonderful experiences – and the collection will be instilling that in different ways.

What’s also special about this showing is that I put a lot of thought into exploring the entire world of the Fundudzi woman, and gathered some great partners to help reflect that world so we have Lancôme injecting glamour with our speciallly created makeup look, essie adding a dash of colour to the nails and this season the Fundudzi woman is going to absolutely fall in love with the mix and match designer sandals from Galago which pulls the whole look together.

Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs at SA Fashion Week S/S 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.
Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs at SA Fashion Week S/S 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.

3) What type of person do you picture wearing this collection?

The Fundudzi woman (and man, we are increasingly getting a lot of male customers, especially for special occasions!) is someone who is a warrior – unashamedly African, but a global citizen. The Fundudzi warrior loves quality but in an understated way.

Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs at SA Fashion Week S/S 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.
Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs at SA Fashion Week S/S 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.

4) What is the inspiration behind this collection?

We live in such a phenomenal, constantly evolving country which is undergoing such major twists and turns, and when I started designing the collection a few months ago, I wanted to tap into that energy. At the heart of the collection is a celebration of our democracy, and how we have grown in just 20 years. So the collection is all about heritage, movement – and remaining true to who you are.

Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs at SA Fashion Week S/S 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.
Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs at SA Fashion Week S/S 2013. Photo by Simon Deiner/ SDR Photo.

5) In your opinion, how important is an event such as SA Fashion Week?

SAFW is vital in creating a credible platform for South African design, and enabling us designers to tap into the instruments to take our creativity and channel it into creating a viable business. More and more buyers are being drawn to local design (I saw it at the winter shows, where I picked up a handful of new buyers who put in quite sizeable orders!).

*Follow Fundudzi/ Craig Jacobs on Facebook and Twitter

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