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Who’s HauTe: Interview with the Ladies of Virgos Lounge

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Oye/Fioye/Nike

You may find this hard to believe, but we at HFA have been waiting and watching patiently the growth of über brand, Virgos Lounge and anticipated the great heights that awaited the brand. What story could be more inspiring in a world where many burgeoning dreams have given way to harsh realities. The ladies of Virgos Lounge, Fioye, Oye and Adenike, started off like every other young ambitious group of girls, ‘hawking’ refurbished vintage pieces via their blog with a human hair brand to support them (yes, these ladies know a thing or two about business). Fast forward a few years later and wham! They are launching as a concession brand in Topshop. Yes you read right, Topshop. We are itching and dying to know what inspired them, how they got this far and why they never threw the towel in. But first…

HFA: Who makes up Virgos Lounge?

VL: Virgos Lounge was founded by a group of Virgo friends with a shared love of vintage style clothing.

HFA: This interview has been a long time coming and we have soooo many questions to ask but we have to get to know you, some how! Was fashion the direction you all saw yourselves headed? Could you possibly give us a brief background of your careers?

VL: Definitely not! Psychology, HR, business management and marketing was all it took for us to realise this was what we wanted to do!

HFA: What inspired Virgos Lounge?

VL: As much as we love vintage clothes, the stress of having to alter pieces and make them more modern can be a bit of a pain so we started creating vintage inspired pieces that have a modern flair to it.

HFA: There is power in a name… Virgos Lounge, an amazing name that definitely has a ring to it! How did you come up with the name?

VL: It was pretty simple, being Virgos it was very important for us to have Virgo in the name somewhere and the lounge bit simply had a nice ring to it!

HFA: We feel that VL is bridging a ‘gap’ in the fashion market with intricate pieces that fall somewhere between haute couture and pret-a-porter. How did you come up with the concept for VL?

VL: It’s simply just a fusion of the old and the new; it’s vintage inspired designs made with modern silhouttes, colours and trends.

HFA: Which fashion label/brands/designers do you admire and aspire to be like?

VL: There are so many we admire such as Elie Saab, Sass and Bide, JBL, Lanvin, the list goes on and on! We can only aspire to be the best version of Virgos Lounge possible as there are so many great brands out there but every one has a different history, story and future.

HFA: There are so many things and many questions to ask! We admire you consistency, the cohesiveness of the brand’s collections and the obvious growth of the label. In an industry where the fickle can sometimes supersede amazing talent, how do you think you have been able to keep the label running almost seamlessly?

VL: Knowing our customer base and finding innovative ways of keeping them engaged and interested while remaining true to our aesthetic.

HFA: Let’s talk the business of fashion now. How would you describe the Virgos Lounge label?

VL: STATEMENT PIECES! It’s where you go to find statement pieces that you can either wear alone or use to spice up an outfit.

HFA: Do you consider yourselves designers?

VL: We don’t really like to put labels on what we do/are as individuals but rather on Virgos Lounge being a fashion brand but we do design the pieces so I guess the answer to this question will be yes!

HFA: Who is a VL girl/lady?

VL: A VL girl is a fashion loving girl who wants to stand out from the crowd while remaining trendy. The girl at a party that everyone asks “where did you get that from?”

HFA: We daresay, the “Glam Grunge” collection was a departure from what the VL girl was typically used to. It was edgier and would appeal to our darker sides. How would you say the collection was received?

VL: Yes it definitely was. We enjoyed creating the glam grunge collection as it was quite different from our usual style but it was very appropriate for the time of the year and thankfully well received.

HFA: Most recently, you launched the campaign for your “Pastel Spring” collection and you’ve gone back to all the pretty colours and intricate beadwork. What inspired the collection and what does the mood board for the collection look like?

VL: It almost looks edible because of the pretty colours. Again, it was vintage inspired but we fused the vintage styles with modern cuts and of course the very on trend colour palette, pastels! It’s been a while since pastels were in season so we were excited to have it back so we really went for it for Spring.

And on to the most exciting bit of the interview…

 

HFA: We are all jittery and super psyched with news of your launch in Topshop!!!! (We’ll let that sink in). And you have a complete collection, “High Summer” ready to take over shop floors in Topshop on 29th April!!! We might be more excited than you are! How do you feel? What was it like sealing the deal?

VL:It was one of those moments were you literally don’t understand what just happened for about 5 minutes and then it hits you! A month on, we still feel that way! We feel extremely blessed for the opportunity to have our own TOPSHOP concession

HFA: What should we expect to see in this collection?

VL: It’s High summer, so we went tropical with it, the prints, colours and embellishments are very exotic and bright.

HFA:We think something everyone can unanimously agree on is that you know how to get your name out there! Grazia today, Look magazine tomorrow, Angela Simmons and a couple of other celebs spotted in VL ensembles. We are ALL curious to know, how do you do it?!

VL: Putting your brand out there is very important, although it can be quite scary as you can never tell what the reaction will be but we are thankful its been positive. Grazia and Look magazine have always been weekly reads for us so being featured on their pages was really exciting and the same goes for Angela Simmons who’s style we absolutely adore!

HFA: How have you been able to stay focused on the brand in a rather demanding industry with many distractions?

VL: Knowing our customers has been very helpful and also making mistakes and then quickly learning from them has helped as we are all prone to making mistakes, it’s inevitable but if handled properly it can actually be a blessing.

HFA: This is the point where we should be rounding up the interview but no! We fear that we may not have touched on everything. Let’s see… What fashion advice have you got for young aspiring brands out there?

VL: Keep at it if it’s something you’re really passionate about but if you are then you are probably enjoying it and will already know that.

HFA: We at HFA would like to say a big ‘congratulations!’ and can’t wait to burst through those Topshop doors and buy out the VL collection. Thank you for your time and all the best ladies!

VL: Thank you for these amazing questions, we were really excited to answer them when we read the interview questions!

You can visit the Virgos Lounge page in our designer directory for information about the brand HERE

- Andie Okon

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Gorgeous + Glam: Liya Kebede for Harper’s Bazaar Spain [May 2012]

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Liya looking stunning as per usual in this Harper’s Bazaar editorial, she was photographed by Txema Yesta as she wows us as she channels the androgyny trend as well as 80′s beauty looks. Liya dons pieces from Gucci, Calvin Klein and Celine for this editorial.

Photo Credit: FashionGoneRouge

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Editor’s Pick of the Week: BCBG Max Azria ‘Roxanne’ Bondage Dress

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We’re bringing sexy back with the help of BCGB Max Azria and this eye-catching colourfully flamboyant number.

Taking similar form to his much loved bandaged body con dresses, this outstanding mini-model in colourful red, pink and green shades draws in every eye -although you won’t have anything to hide with its slim fitted cut and alluring feminine silhouette. Don’t let the colours convince you to only pull it out for those Spring/Summer months. Winter would see this number “warmed up” with a full black leg of sheer black tights and tie up heeled boots, plus that boyfriend blazer to match. A denim jacket and burnt orange wedges would draw out a more casual summer vibe to this dress.

Right now however we’re really just interested in the “Break-over” look (making yourself look amazing in case the ex is looking). White or chalk grey jackets work well if you’re wanting to tone down the dresses’ colours, along with a bag that pops and heels to match. You don’t necessarily have to choose a colour that’s in the dress, turquoise, mustard and white work just as well as pink or purple.

Don’t shy away…all eyes this way!

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365 Days of Success: 46664 Celebrates A Year in Fashion

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It was an exciting time last year when 46664 launched their first collection. Now a year into it, the brand is going international with three licencing agreements with brand partners  in Canada, North Eastern Europe and the USA, reaching South America, Belgium, Portugal, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway and Finland among others.  In Africa the brand will be made available in Mozambique and Angola  though fans of the brand from other African countries like Botwsana, Lesotho, can get the clothes online at www.46664.com, also available in Stuttafords Southern Africa and 100 other independent retailers. Plans to take the brand to other African countries are in the pipeline and Brand ID is in talks with its UK and French partners. The US and North Western Europe plans will be announced by Brand ID partners in those territories on Mandela Day this year.

Apart from its global reach achievements, 46664 also celebrated launching their new Autumn/Winter 2012 Collection and the charity initiatives they are involved in. The profits made from 46664 fashion will be used for the Mandela Day Library Project 2012 of which  three container libraries will be built  in Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the  Western Cape. The Autumn /Winter 2012 campaign is centered on the boxing ring concept, paying tribute to aspects of Nelson Mandela’s life. Colorful, clashing patterns, prints and bright toned  blazers, chinos and jeans make up the menswear line while the women’s line consists of wool coats,  blazers and printed maxis.

 

~Innocent Ndlovu

 

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Shop The Global African Autumn/Winter 2012 Trend: Pleasant Pastels

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“Sweeeeet like Candyyyy” da di dooo. Yes everyone, if you haven’t noticed this trend making its way out of the candy store and onto the runways then you must be on a diet. Pastels, sorbets, sweet soft and salivating – one trend I cannot get enough of. Now some of you may be like me and have been on this fad for a while, Pastels are like denim, you can whip them out any time of the year and not cause a fashion fuss, though western labels such as Louis Vuitton have heavily popularised this trend, pairing pastel on pastel – going th whole nine yards. Our very own designers such as Thabani Mavundla [SAFW] and Laameez Claasen [SAFW]  have also taken their own spin and infused it onto the runways which we have recently witnessed through ARISE, NYFW, JFW and so forth. Just like many of the trends we’ve highlighted – if you’re going to rockit, go all the way. Pastel squared or even pastel to the power of three, its all gravy. Grab yourselves a signature pastel blazor (they will never go out) or even a pair of cute high waisted tailored shorts in a mint green. A full white ensemble is always set alive matched up with a set of pastel pink pumps and Solange knowles showed us how well a pastel yellor Razorfront dress goes alongside some pastel pink flatforms. If you don’t know where to start, draw some inspiration from below. Have fun with it.

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HauTe TV: Nigerian Label, GREY introduces Lemon, a timeline of their Journey.

Written by . Posted in Blog, Features, Haute TV.

Nigerian fashion label Grey recently premiered a video retrospective on their line featuring a couple of their ambassadors who have been with them from the start of their journey.

This video was launched at an event GREY hosted at Reeds Restaurant, Ikoyi, Lagos Nigeria. on the 13th of April.

It was shot & edited by Haute TV’s director Bolaji Kekere-Ekun for 37thstate Ltd with concept by Charles Obienu for 3hvndred and features Marcy Dolapo Oni, Kome Ajegbo, Ademide Adefarasin, soul musician Bez & Ozzy Etomi to name a few. . . and brief interview with the designer; Joke Ladoja, Obi Obi & Tola Ayanwale.

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Just in!: LOUD Culture’s Spring/Summer 2012

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We love it when designers utilize African prints into creative, wearable contemporary wear. One brand of such is  LOUD by Fashesin and Tapping. They recently released their S/S 2012 lookbook and as Amy would say it’s looking “printastic”. This time around the duo delivered vibrant prints in bold colour palettes. Interesting, sexy, modern  cuts and patterns, femininity and bold; the collection is good enough to obsess over! With a variety 0f pieces including blazers, mini dresses and blouses to choose from, it won’t be difficult finding the look that best suits you. Also spotted the trendy Peter-Pan collar incorporated in the blouses.

Ladies feast your eyes!

Collection available at www-loudculture.com online store

Designers: Abi Fashesin & Ashley-Rae Tapping

 

~  Innocent Ndlovu

 

 


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Global African Fashion Trends A/W 2012

Written by . Posted in Blog, Fall/Winter, Features, Trends.

And we know cross live to coverage of the Global African Fashion trends for Twenty Twelve. Yes ladies and Gentlemen, we have gasped and cried, cheered and sighed…been whisked  across time zones and into the world of ingenuity, imagination and at times  - insensitivity to our eyes. Minimalism and extremes have walked hand-in- hand this year ,with designers taking new risks and others pertaining to the safer routes. We have sat and dissected the creative minds of African fashion bringing forth to you -yet again- the widespread trends jumping from one country to another on the back of Globalization.

As we always say, you may be your own trend-setter and not even feel the need to take mental notes. Although for everyone else out there who want to stay ahead of the erratic cycles, we hope this quick trail of trends will assist you in your fashion chase.

And here we go!

Blast from the past:

As seen in; Fabiani [JFW], Narin Samy [SAFW], William Okpo [NYFW]

Fixed on Floral:

As seen in; Duro Olowu [NYFW], Thula Sindi [JOBURG], Spero Villioti [JOBURG]

Rough n’ Rugged:

As seen in; Teflar [JFW], Clive Rundle [JOBURG], Roman Handt [SAFW]

Border lining Bust:

As seen in; Duaba Serma [ARISE], Gloria Wavamunno [ARISE] Viv La Resistance [ARISE]

A-symmetrical hemming:

As seen in; Teflar [JFW], JBL [ARISE], Maki Oh [ARISE]

Pleasant pastels:

As seen in; Amine Bendriouich [JFW], Thabani Mavundla [SAFW], Laameez Claasen [SAFW]

Oversize: 

As seen in; William Okpo [NYFW], BCBG Max Azria [NYFW], Buki Akib [ARISE]

Check – mate:

As seen in; Palse Homme [SAFW], David Tlale [JFW], C-squared [JFW]-

 

Drop Waist:

A seen in; Herve Leger [NYFW], JBL [ARISE], Grey [ARISE]

Peplum perfect:

As seen in; Lanvin [PFW],  Grapevine [JFW], Tsemaye Binitie [ARISE]

DIGITAL aGE:

As seen in; Agi & Sam [LFW], Lanre Da Silva Ajayi [ARISE]

Peak a Boo:

As seen in; Avant [JFW], Jewel by Lisa [AMFW], -KLuk CGDT [JFW]


Structural Adjustment:

As seen in; Jose Hendo [LFW], Odio Minonet [ARISE], Avant [JFW]

Animal tendencies:

As seen in; Caroline Charles [LFW], Kluk CGDT [ARISE], Phunk Afrique [ARISE]

Fabric blocking:

As seen in; William Okpo [NYFW], Ayo Van Elmar [LFW], Petrouman [ARISE]

Lotsa’ Lustre:

As seen in; PPQ [LFW], Funlayo Deri [ARISE], Grey [ARISE]

 Fur-Friendly:

As seen in; Okunoren Twins [AMFW] Herve Leger [NYFW], BCBG Max Azria [NYFW]

~Amy Iheakanwa & Innocent Ndlovu

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Ethno Tendance Week-End from May 4th – 6th, 2012 in Paris. Designers Wanted, Inquire within!

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Trend Report: SA Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2012

Written by . Posted in Blog, Fall/Winter, Features, Trends.

Wait… it’s already over you say!? Yes we know, good things come and go people but they cannot last forever- the same goes for our favourite fashion weeks of the year. Here at HauTe we dived on the most fashionable roller coaster out, riding the twists and turns, peaks and troughs of this years SA Fashion Week 2012. Some fantastic fresh talent from the likes of Claire Mckenzie, Lameez Claasen and OO ILU were witnessed, giving the veterans a run for their money. A favourite of these fresh faces had to be Tzvi and Ramon who reached into their deepest most creative pockets and drew forth an amazing collection full of technique and various trends transcending the likes of what we have seen so far.

Of course we kept our eyes on the noticeable trends making their way through at this event, bookmarking a few and hashing out some others. The below images demonstrate some of our favourites which we believe will be scooped off the table and packed into the lunchboxes of all those hungry fashionistas out there.

Lesson 1: As I mentioned before, its all about grabbing the best of what you own (like your house has been set ablaze causing you to flee in a fashionable panic) and throwing it on as a crazy un-matching array -(making it look effortless of course).   Suzaan Heyns, Clive Rundle & Roman Handt make this trend look effortless and although you may choose not go to the same extreme… I’m sure you get the gist.

Lesson 2: Pull out those patterened pants and pair it with a plain or equally patterned shirt this time round instead of opting for the safe option of monocoloured jeans/tights.

Lesson 3: Jump onto the tastefully textured look. Search for those one off pieces which you can add to your wardrobe and make any ensemble look good. Whether it’s that thrifty store 1980′s blouse with the wicked shoulder pads, or a heavily texturised vest from Zara, begin collecting pieces which stand out to you and will catch an eye or two from the crowd.

Here are some of our favourite trends straight from talented hands of SA;

Fabric blocking:

L-R {Lameez Chaasen, Ephymol, Eskado Bird}

Tie Me up:

L-R {Clive Rundle, Rubicon, Mantsho}

 

The way of Watercolours:

L-R {Claire Mkerzie, Joel Jansen Van Vuuren, Colleen Eitzen}

RED:

L-R {Naked Ape, Vesselina Pentecheva, Terrence Bray}

Long Live Layering:

L-R {Suzaan Heyns, Clive Rundle, Roman Handt}

Textural healing:

L-R {Stoned Cherrie, Clive Rundle, Eskado Bird}

Sheer Glamour! :

L-R {Samantha Constable, Eskado Bird, Rachel De Mardt}

Sweet Sherbert:

L-R {Lameez Claasen, Kelly Esterhuyse, Narain Samy}

PRants:

 

L-R {Katherine Mortmer, OO ilu, Palse Homme}

Button Up Bobby:

L-R {OO ilu, Eskado Bird, Ephymol}

Nearly Nude:

L-R {Hermana Rush, Colleen Eitzen, Nake Ape}

Structural adjustment:

L-R {Tzvi & Ramen, Tiaan Nagel}

~Amy Iheakanwa

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