left to right: Thulani Radebe @_TOOLZ_ (publicist), @craigbjacobs (founder of Fundudzi), @bryanboy (fashion blogger)
How would you describe yourself?
I’m a communicator who uses clothes as a channel to spread a message.
What inspired you to start Fundudzi?
There was various reasons why i decided to start my label, but my key motivation is to tell African stories: to help change the perception of Africa. There is a saying by the turn of the century geographer which says, “The darkest thing about Africa is our ignorance” and that is something i want to change.
What do you think is the future of the business of fashion?
I think the future is when we learn to work together for the greater good of the industry. I am saddened that people with deep pockets think they can take over when there is a need for passion and hard work to turn the industry around.
Joburg Fashion Week is now called Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Joburg. What’s your take on that?
My take is: No comment. I choose to show at SA Fashion Week, which is the original and most credible platform for designers in South Africa.
How does your upbringing reflect your style and interest in fashion today?
To be honest, fashion wasn’t really something i was deeply interested in growing up. I was more interested in writing and telling stories. I would say i was a bit of a nerd growing up and my personal style is still quite laid back. In terms of fashion, i remember looking up to iconic people like Errol Arrende growing up and being amazed that someone like me could be so successful by designing clothes. Growing up on the Cape Flats, him and his sister Gloria were the sort of icons who fueled my quest to succeed - although i never thought i it would be in the same Field, fashion.
How does your parents feel about your success?
Both my parents have been an amazing support and my mom especially, since my dad passed away she has been influential in making my label more leaner and efficient.
Your mom is an extremely good knitter. Can you knit too?
I’m hopeless at knitting! and to be honest i don’t have a lot of patience either!
What’s going to happen to you and your label in the next season?
We’re launching in Edgars next week and then showing at SAFW, launching our Spring/Summer 2012 collection at the end of the month. We have landed an international agent who is also representing us in leading territories and we’re growing our presence in the US through the sustainable e-commerce marketplace, JPSelects.com
What advise can you give to aspiring stylists, designers and fashion bloggers in SA?
I think the key is to seek out your own identity and influences, to be original and draw inspiration from what surrounds you. And remember that perseverance and hard work pays off.
visit Craig Jacobs’ label website: www.fundudzi.com or follow him on Twitter @craigbjacobs.
picture via: (yesitsmetoolz.tumblr.com)