Get insight into how our launch collection came to be from Head of Design, David West
Words: Kelly Fung | Photography: Nick Gordon
At long last, we've launched our very own collection that promises to quench your fashion thirst in all the right ways. The magic of this collection however, is more than just being bang on trend. Each piece has been carefully considered for your wardrobe to ensure you'll want to wear it over and over again, with everything, and for longer than just one season. We've made it easy to discover style, in your own way.
I sat down and spoke to Head of Design, David West, about the inspiration for the inaugural collection, his favourite piece and how not be a fashion victim.
What is the main source of inspiration for Superbalist’s launch collection?
Superbalist the label has to capture the spirit of Superbalist.com, and we are known for fashion and leading the way in terms of trend. We’re the destination to find something new and exciting. We take inspiration from the catwalk and from the streets, both globally and locally, so this involves a lot of travel and research.
Can you take us through how these ideas came about in your studio and what key links can we see in the pieces?
The trends are analysed and broken into colour and theme stories and we let those guide the collection. This season you’ll see inspiration taken from the 1970s, such as bold retro prints, feminine shapes and a spicy, saturated colour palette. A lot of designers are referencing the style of their mothers in the 70s and 80s at the moment, so there’s a lot of nostalgia in there.
What do you hope people see and feel when going through the collection?
I would hope they would see the potential to express themselves and their individuality, and we can help them do this by releasing limited ranges in exclusive drops every week so that everybody else isn't seen in the same item! It’s a collection of the newest trends and wardrobe staples done our way.
Is the collection made locally? How important is it for the brand to retain a sense of locality?
Yes, we are proud that it’s designed in-house by South Africans and largely produced locally for a South African customer. Around 80% happens in South Africa which is part of our sustainability journey.
Take us through the dominant fabric choices of the collection?
It’s all about prints! Florals, geometrics, paisley and the biggest this season: animal print.
Globally, there is a definite focus for fashion lovers to determine their own style rather than being dictated to and instead, finding what’s right for them. How do you navigate this from a brand perspective, when putting a collection together?
We provide quite a wide spectrum of wardrobe building items from basics and denim to smarter workwear so that our customer has the ability to interpret the collection in their own way, and because our capsules are limited there’s less chance of seeing somebody else in the same piece!
How important is it for you, as a designer, to create on-trend, of the moment pieces whilst maintaining a sense of timeless style?
Everybody wants to feel relevant, but nobody wants to feel like a fashion victim so getting that balance right is important as a design team. We want these items to last a few seasons.
Can you take us through the major trend themes the collection is centred around?
We have two main focuses for this launch: a slick 70s influence and then the more sartorial-meets-sport influence.
From design to shooting the campaign, how has the non-negotiable theme of diversity been brought into the Superbalist’s offering?
A key part of this launch has been the Plus Size component in Womenswear, and we will expand that further as the seasons develop. Currently, it's limited but as the season goes on you will be able to buy exactly the same items in the main-range in extended sizes. We don’t really want to treat it a plus size range but rather an extension of our Superbalist label.
What is important to note when it comes to innovation around the launch of Superbalist’s own in-house brand? How will it stand out from its competitors?
We have an appetite for speed and newness at Superbalist we ship fast and we deliver new fashion fast. We don’t wait to copy the rest of the world — we absorb the trends we like and interpret them in our own way, for a South African audience.
From your design background, what is your favourite part of the design process?
Seeing garments coming in from our manufacturers and seeing the collection come to life in real garment form is the most exciting part for me.
Do you have a favourite piece from the collection?
The hybrid femme sports dress is my favourite.
Any insider tips for shopping this collection?
Get it fast because the collection is limited and once-off. Have fun with it and don’t be afraid of trying something new and standing out.
What can we look forward to seeing from future Superbalist collections for men and women?
Our Spring collection is on the way and it's looking really strong — we have all the new trends covered, some really exciting prints and shapes and great swimwear for high Summer.