Local fashion brand to fly the South African flag high during Paris showcase
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Johannesburg - The brains behind the prestigious South African clothing brand Erre Fashion is thrilled to be showcasing their latest collection in Paris, France this month.
The pair, Carina Louw and Natasha Jaume, have been invited by Share Africa, in partnership with luxury fashion conglomerate the Kering Group, to participate in their spotlight on African design venture – Africa Fashion UP.
The design duo will showcase a collection titled Home in Paris on September 17, prior to the world-acclaimed Paris Fashion Week.
Their involvement in the fashion showcase could catapult them into the global fashion market as the Kering Group have contributed to the success of some of the biggest brands including Balenciaga, Gucci and Alexander McQueen.
“It is a huge honour to be representing the South African fashion industry in Paris and to show the world the level of quality in design and manufacturing that South African designers have to offer,” Louw told the Saturday Star this week.
Louw and Jaume, who are former fashion lecturers who have now turned their eye for detail into a global success story, take their inspiration from the rich cultural tapestry of the African continent.
The luxury brand is also a sterling ambassador for locally sourced mohair, a signature of their seasonal offerings, and something that caught the eye of the Africa Fashion UP team.
“One of our long-term goals is to nurture a sustainable economic industry from fibre to end-product especially focusing on our biggest export mohair,” Louw said.
The Erre Fashion co-founder is also cognisant of the responsibility they have in representing the country at the fashion show in one of the biggest style capitals in the world, and she hopes that it will lead to many more local designers receiving global exposure.
“Going to Paris to showcase a collection elevates our brand to the level of quality associated with French fashion and we hope that South Africans will realise how valuable our local fashion industry is and that talent is right on our doorstep.
“But more than anything we wish to grow our brand from this experience and help to pave the way for other SA fashion brands going forward.”
Since its inception back in 2013, Erre Fashion has been synonymous with powerful, flattering and classic silhouettes and their inclusively sized range hopes to inspire women from all walks of life.
Their playfulness with colour as well as Erre Fashion’s desire to experiment with different textures and materials has seen them be a constant hit when they biannually showcase their designs at South African Fashion Week (SAFW).
Louw believes that all of this, as well as Erre Fashion’s unique take on style, has been some of the major reasons for the brand’s success over almost a decade.
“Erre has consistently delivered garments that are timeless and beautifully made over 14 SA Fashion Week collections over the past eight years.
“The silhouette of our garments are feminine and universally appealing while our fabrication techniques tell an African-inspired story that a European market will find interesting.”
As their Paris showcase looms, Louw admitted that their collection is still a work in progress but insisted that they are working hard to ensure it is a hit.
“We are creating a new visual language out of the mohair fibre and we won’t stop obsessing over every detail until we get on that plane to Paris.”
Although the fashion show will take place thousands of kilometres away from South Africa, Louw promised that it will be proudly South African.
“Our collection will include bold silhouettes that celebrate the South African female form, as well as surprising colours and unexpected ways to use mohair so don’t expect knit cardigans!”
Louw admitted that the Paris showcase has forced them to think outside the box but that they will always stay true to their design philosophy as they look to fulfil their ultimate goal of improving the local fashion industry.
“In some ways this collection is a departure from what Erre has done in the past but we will always stay true to our brand ethos; power-dessing redefined.”
The fashion designer also hopes that all those who wear their clothes will feel like they are ready to take on the world.
“Our aim is to empower women, no matter what the occasion is, even if she’s working from home.
“No matter what your body shape or size, our garments should fit you and you should not try to fit into our garments.”