Jan Malan, a global and local fashion show event producer, at one of his shows.
Picture: Supplied
Jan Malan, a global and local fashion show event producer, at one of his shows. Picture: Supplied

Fashion legends JJ Schoeman and Jan Malan share their lockdown diaries

By Debashine Thangevelo Time of article published Apr 8, 2020

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No one is immune to the impact of Covid-19. Celebrities, influencers and big wigs in different sectors are feeling the brunt if isolation in the same way as every citizen in the country. However, each person is processing the new norm in their own way. 

Celebrated fashion designer, JJ Schoeman, and global and local fashion show event producer, Jan Malan, have always enjoyed busy schedules. Now they get to hit the pause button for a bit and provide a quick showcase of a day in their life during this time. 

What’s your coping mechanism during the lockdown?

JJ Schoeman (JJS):  The lockdown has given me a lovely unexpected long working-at-home holiday. A time to reflect on my career, my life and everything that goes along with that. 

I am reinventing, redesigning, recreating whatever is possible. It gives one the opportunity to set up the actual “work from home” experience with all the technology possible and there are so many opportunities along this way. It is not difficult for me at all as I am doing the odd DIY in my apartment that has been overdue. 

Each room in the penthouse is getting a turn to be washed, cleared out and reorganized. I’m spending quality time with my pets and my loved ones. My chihuahuas cannot understand why they can’t go to the garden of the complex and run amok in the passageways. So each day at different time intervals, we take them for a picnic on the rooftop and lie in the sun for a while to try and keep them entertained.

Jan Malan (JM): My work out every morning before I start the day. I spend a limited amount of time online or watching the news. And I’m re-discovering the art of reading.

Jan Malan, a global and local fashion show event producer, whiles away his time exercising and reading.

What does your new routine look like?

JJS: My new routine includes getting up a bit later in the morning. I’m a very domesticated person so I still tend to the cleaning, organizing, dusting and packing. My creative mind is busy inventing stuff and more stuff, while in this mode. 

We watch more channel movies these days and stay awake a bit later. The weekend comes and goes and is nothing special anymore. I don’t have to wait for the weekend to have an informal braai anymore. My grocery shopping is online and they deliver, I still get dressed as if I am going to work, but I just don’t go out of the front door. My work at home space is getting fine-tuned in every way. 

JM: It goes something like this. 6am: Wakeup. 7am: Workout. Rest of the morning: Office work, admin and meetings online (Zoom or Microsoft teams). Evenings: Watch old movies on DVD, and try to get in bed early.

Iconic South African fashion designer, JJ Schoeman, is using the time to reflect, reinvent and recreate. Picture: Supplied

Is there anything else that you are doing to keep safe and sane, at the same time?

JJS: I started planting vegetables in a potted garden and rearranged all the greenery and potted plants. Technology is not my strong suit so I plan to take a course and check it out. Self-study is a big new thing and it keeps me busy.

JM: I’m staying in touch with friends and family on WhatsApp. Starting to do all those things that have been pushed aside over the years: clearing out cupboards, revisiting old books and movies as well as reaching out to friends from the past.

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