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Lucilla+Booyzen

Q & A with fashion expert and head of SA Fashion Week, Lucilla Booyzen

1. What made this year’s Fashion Week different?

The differentiating factor for me is the enormous growth and the interest we have experienced from buyers  this year  – 93 buyers visited SAFW showing a growth of 77%.  For us at SAFW it is about growing the businesses of the designers.  If the designer’s business grows – the market grows and the jobs grow.  That is what we are interested in – growing the creative fashion industry.

2. What will it take for a designer to be successful?

  •  The right education
  •  Talent with focus on design
  •  The knowledge of fashion which includes design and business knowledge
  • Knowing your consumer
  • Designing a desirable Collection that is not cheap but affordable
  • Being there and being seen on the right platforms all the time in other words good marketing

 3. What is the most common misconception about the fashion industry?

Misconception is without a doubt that it is an easy ride.  Anyone in South Africa thinks they can design and become a fashion hero over night.  There is no respect for the right education to carry the talent.  I have sat in very high profile meetings where someone will without blinking call him or herself a designer if they have not sat in one Fashion Lecture at any University or College in their lives before.  It is like calling yourself a doctor if you have not got the papers to prove it – it happens all the time in Fashion.

4. What gives you the greatest pleasure in your job?

Talking to a designer and working with my team.

5. In your opinion, what is the key to growing SA’s fashion industry?

Education and skills development.  A designer is lost without and industry with the skills to support his designs.

6. An upcoming trend you will incorporate into your wardrobe?

I don’t do trends – but one trend that I would say everyone should incorporate is fine, chic, shoes  and bags with detail - see trough is making a comeback. Chuck those platforms and huge bags!

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