Remember my recent Instagram post about my personal strategy points for 2014? One of my points was to align with greats and to get to know as many people as i can. People doing great things in their lives. Visionaries, influencers, winners and people who generally interest me. How will i be doing this? Well, i started thinking about setting up lunch dates with potentials. What a better way to get to know and meet someone then over a nice meal and a coca-cola? Right? Right! And of course i started thinking about a hashtag for my meet ups. They will be followed under #LunchWithEnzo. See, simple really. My first guest was South African Fashion Designer and Trend Forecaster, Craig Jacobs of Fundudzi. Here’s what i asked him.
1. Tell me about your label Fundudzi?
Fundudzi is inspired by a sacred lake in Limpopo of the same name, and it reflects a modern and understated yet inimitably African aesthetic. I am committed to sustainability on many levels – from trying to incorporate eco friendly and indigenous fabrications wherever possible as well as up cycling and supporting important causes.
2. How many Fashion Weeks have you showcased at and what is the experience like?
Wow. I launched the label with my co- founding partner, Pumla Ngxekana way back in 2004, and we showcased our first collection at Cape Town Fashion Week thanks to the support of one of the country’s leading fashion show producers, Mary Reynolds, who heard of the label. Later that month, Fundudzi also debuted at Stockholm Fashion Week under the Rookies platform. To date, I have showcased collections in Copenhagen, London, Luanda, Dublin and Gaborone and participated at Africa Fashion Week, Joburg Fashion Week, Mozambique Fashion Week and the Durban Fashion Fair – but my true home above all is at SA Fashion Week, the leading and trailblazing local fashion platform which remains instrumental in putting the spotlight on local fashion design.
3. What inspires your work?
I am fascinated with telling stories (it’s my background in sociology and media, I guess) through clothing – and I have drawn inspiration from an eclectic array of different influences from architecture to nature, from social movements to issues that beset our society.
4. Of all the items you have ever created, do you have a favourite?
Too many! But I would say that hands down the most favourite item amongst Fundudzi warrior woman seems to be the Lea dress, which was originally created for ubercool deejay Lady Lea (we did Survivor Santa Carolina together). The design has a sort of punk sensibility with a jagged hemline and explores asymmetry, but in typical Fundudzi style it is quite understated and carefully designed to be flattering to every woman who slips it on.
5. Best advice ever received?
“Why not?” by brilliant motivational speaker and business consultant Earl Suttle when I told him I wanted to start my own business. And then there’s all the gems of advice from my mother, who has helped me in so many ways to streamline my business and make design not only fulfilling – but economically viable as well.
6. Favourite travel destination?
Without a doubt Barcelona – the Catalonians really know how to party and the Gaudi architecture is truly inspirational.
I also love Sydney – it is my other home, and it is great to go back and catch up with my friends and family. And then there’s New York (no not for the shopping in particular – my favourite solitary pastime is to walk through Central Park to the Guggenheim and the Met to immerse myself in the exhibitions on show).
7. What do you foresee to be the biggest fashion trend this year and what should be ditched?
One of the most important trends in the local retail market will be the search for original and luxuriously designed items. True style isn’t about fast fashion but thoughtful designs which are not mass produced (that garment you’re picking up at one of those newly arrived trendy stores is really a rip offs of the catwalk – the equivalent of brandishing a fake Louis Vuitton!).
The peplum has overstayed its welcome, and I really hope the hipsters all disappear (I’m a child of the 1990s and its all quite comical for me to see them co-opting grunge).
He is actually a really cool guy. Keep up with Craig on social by following him here:
Fundudzi Facebook page: Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs
I will be chatting to the blogger extraordinaire Wisaal Anderson of www.wiscellaneous.com next. Look out for that!