Monday, June 28

South African Fashion Design Spotlight: Margot Molyneux

Good morning gang, welcome to today's interview! About a week ago, I received an email from a reader who said she enjoyed my blog and wanted to say hi. It's always lovely to receive mails like that and I can usually tell me when someone is being genuine and when they're being spammy ie: "Hi, nice blog, check out my range of XXX." I clicked the link on said reader's signature (who was of the genuine type) which took me to her website. Well, what a tremendous surprise! The reader was Margot Molyneux who happens to be a talented young fashion designer from Cape Town. Now, at the risk of showing my ignorance, when I think of South African fashion design, I tend to think of traditional African colours, bright beading, long skirts and sun motifs. And while there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, it's just not a style that resonates with me. So when I looked through Margot's website and saw loads of calm neutrals, clean lines and pretty colours, i just about jumped for joy. Everything in her Winter 2010 lookbook is something I'd love to add to my closet. I have a feeling she's going to be dressing lots of famous ladies soon and I'm thrilled to have had the chance to chat to her.


Hi Margot, when did you start your fashion line?
I started making clothes last year, after I finished my diploma from DAF. It wasn't something I necessarily intended on doing straight out of college, however some things fell into place that allowed this process to start.

That's brilliant. How would you characterize your designs?
I try to produce clothing which is comfortable for everyday wear. I hope girls feel like they are wearing something unique while still looking good in it.

Please walk us through a typical day.
There is no typical day in my life at the moment. I find no week looks the same, but somewhere fabric shopping, pattern making, researching, cutting and deliveries will happen.

What has been the highlight of your career to date?
I must say the whole experience has been great, difficult at times but people have been really responsive to helping me, something nobody seems to expect from this industry. I was lucky enough to have Brett Rubin shoot my stuff as well as participate in Cape Town Fashion Week last year.

What are your feelings about the South African fashion industry? What areas are thriving and which areas can be improved?
I think it is great that it is expanding and growing into it's own. I believe that the the younger market is lacking in locally produced and designed items which are affordable for them. We become too accustomed to wanting what is available overseas but not necessarily aware of what is possible here.


Who are your favourite designers and why?
Ooh thats tough. Too many.

I'm going to have to press you for names one day! If you could dress anyone in the world, who would you choose and why?
I would dress anyone who wanted to wear my clothes. No matter who they are thats a compliment.

Ah, so modest. Where do you hope to see your brand a year from now?
I would love to own a store, however I think that may be jumping the gun a little. In a year I would just hope it to be more widely known and available to people. I am very interested in different kinds of retail, such as online or pop up stores etc so hopefully be involved more in those areas.

What advice would you give to budding fashion designers?
I am budding fashion designer myself :) But to the newly budding designers, I would say work very hard. The industry sounds a lot more glamorous than it is. It is loads of fun but you are never going to be able to start a business with a few designs, you need to think of the whole business package.

How would you describe your personal style? What's a typical daily outfit?
Often nothing too exciting! I dress fairly simply but I do often wear my own designs.

And finally, where can find your designs in store?
Mungo and Jemima in Long Street, Cape Town, Spoon in the Old Biscuit Mill or directly from me.
You can visit Margot's website here!


Thanks Margot. I wish you loads of success and fashion fun! In other news, I have a jewellery discount for ya'll tomorrow. Be sure to pop in and grab the discount code. I'm also nattering about lingerie on the Women's Health Mag site - see "Hot Tips" - oh yeah! You may have also noticed I've added a page about blog sponsorship. If you have a business that you think is right up my alley and relevant to Glossary readers, email me here  for rates and info about sponsorship opportunities on this blog. At the mo', I need to offset some of the costs of keeping ye old blog going. The freelance gig is tough on the wallet!
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