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Thursday, February 5, 2015

#THE_INTERVIEW: We Chat to Jenevieve Lyons About Kick-Starting SA’s First-Ever Menswear Week

As SA Menswear Week looms – literally within hours – we chat with one of South Africa’s brightest young stars. Jenevieve Lyons popped into the scene and took everyone by surprise. Since then, she literally climbed the fashion ladder to what is currently a well-deserved spot. And now, she gets to open South Africa’s first-ever fashion week dedicated to men.

South Africa’s first-ever menswear week and you’re at the starting line. Are you feeling any pressure?
I feel honoured to have been selected to open South Africa’s first-ever menswear week; and pressure is always a definite trait with any new showcase.

You popped on to the scene at the ELLE Rising Star competition, then split direction into menswear, and we recently saw you at the SAFW Menswear Competition. What has inspired this move?
I recently showcased at SAFW in the Renault New Talent Search in association with Renault 2014, whereby I showcased a women’s wear conceptually articulated collection. I was approached by Simon Deiner, founder of South Africa’s Menswear Week 2015 with the inestimable opportunity to showcase on the prestigious platform and with the experience of showcasing my first ever menswear collection at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Joburg A/W 2013, I saw this as an opportunity to further my knowledge in menswear as it is a line we aim to grow within the brand; offering women’s wear, menswear and multi-wear.

Do you see menswear more profitable or more creatively challenging?
The South African menswear industry is a growing market – seeing consumers buy into local design and show the urge for quality design.
We aim to grow along with the South African fashion conscious male as he progresses into the industry by offering accessible menswear.

Is there any foresight as to whether or not you will, in the future, focus purely on menswear?
Menswear will always remain a division of the brand; but it will not become a solitary focus.

How has the response been to your brand and your produce since you arrived on the scene?
The response has been very humbling.

And with other designers? Have they been embracing or are they putting up a clean fight to keep you on your toes?
As a brand we believe in creative cross-collaboration; we embrace design that pushes the South African industry into higher heights.

There’s a cloud over menswear in that, we still see a bulk of men always going for a more traditional look with regards to menswear. Do you think this is changing and how do you see Jenevieve Lyons helping the change?
As mentioned above; the South African fashion conscious male is a showing more interest in local design and the menswear market is a definite growing market – we aim to assist this change by growing with the South African fashion conscious male as he progress into the industry by offering accessible menswear.

What can we expect from your collection at menswear week?
Deliquesce Autumn / Winter 2015 carries you into a venture of shimmer and shine; subtle and precisely placed yet dispersing out from under wearable separates.

This collection will see a somewhat subdued conceptual aesthetic as the collection will see itself trickle directly across into ready-to-wear retail straight off the runway. One will yet be lured by certain oddities that occur within the garments every now and then...

Deliquesce takes inspiration from ‘silvery’ metals found within the periodic table; it finds sense in the subdued yet handsome shimmer that gallium Ga31 holds as being the metal that liquefies at the lowest temperature out of all metals – gallium carries fragility.

Deliquesce as a menswear collections see’s the use of somewhat liquefied soft proportions with a structured shimmer oddity; extended tee’s and oversized polo-necks paired with pressed-‘chino’ trousers and shorts layered over meggings.

Gallium served as inspiration by its feature of being molten in a bare hand due to the fragility of the metal; this sense of fragility and metal together led the collection into a direction of under-shadowed shimmer under and over easy to wear separates.

How soon will it be ready for sale?
The collection will be open for order sales directly and will be released into retail when advised.
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