Eastern Cape designer the one to watch
Johannesburg - The winner of the 2013 SA Fashion Week Renault New Talent Search competition is Laz Yani with his Cutterier label.
At SA Fashion Week, the young designer from the Eastern Cape won R20 000 in cash from Renault SA and a Renault Mégane Coupé to drive for a year.
Yani said: “I am in shock, I’ve entered many competitions in the past and was always so close to the prize but have never won the grand prize. I’m more honoured and humbled by the fact that I was chosen out of hundreds of young designers who entered.
“It was my second time as a finalist. I really learnt so much from the judges’ advice last year.”
He said he intended to invest his winnings in his label.
“There are industrial machines to buy, and hopefully the opportunity to take on a sample machinist, should I experience sufficient orders to warrant this.
“I would also like to upgrade my business to the extent that I will be in a position to stock boutiques in Durban, Joburg, Cape Town and my home town, East London, by December this year.”
Explaining his garments, Yani said he always aimed to make the wearer comfortable and confident.
“Long term, I would like to appeal to the fuller figured women as well, so that not only will they have access to comfortable designer wear, but they will look amazing too.
“Like with previous collections, I have used a print technique that involves the skills of African people, a unique ethos for my brand items, over and above the draping signature, which minimises fabric wastage.”
Yani says that the richness of Africa is the perfect inspiration for the future of South African fashion.
“The experiences we have can’t be viewed by the click of a button, so who better to tell an African story than an African like myself. We all have a story to tell and, as designers, it’s our responsibility to tell it through our clothes.”
The other four finalists in the competition were Take Care label, Mej. Lues by Hanrie Lues, Anmari Honiball and Erre. - The Star