I’d missed two shuttle buses from a hotel in Umhlanga to the Durban Fashion Fair breakfast last year. When I spotted him walking out of self-same hotel heading for same breakfast, I was little OMG! that’s him!
A further thirty minute delay awarded me the opportunity of coffee and a chat with the most humble, intelligent and super-calm designer around. And his darling mom. Word on the street is she bakes some mean goodies which I’ll hopefully get to sample some day. *nudge, wink*
Anyhoo, back to the fashion fair where I got to see his work up close and personal. I was blown away by the fact that such a laid back guy dressed in a blue shirt, baggy trousers and trainers(!) could create two such extreme collections. Cocktail dresses were rivaled only by gossamer wings. They carried a refreshing elegance and light in their simplicity. Dare I even say pretty.
The street wear collection, however, was bold in comparison. Here the designer was driven to make a statement; thumbing his nose at an establishment and forcing you to address or acknowledge social consciences.
And the models were beyond hot!
Or had I read too deeply into the work? Maybe he was just having fun. Either way, in my opinion, there’s always two sides to Craig (we like both) which shows in his work and his entertaining Twitter feed. Well worth a following.
So let’s take a look into one of our fave SA designer’s wardrobes.
Describe yourself. Eco-warrior, communicator, juggler, Mommy’s boy and avid reader of biographies.
Define your style. What is the signature Craig Jacobs look? My personal style is quite relaxed and low-key while my design style is all about understated elegance.
Which do you prefer; a S/S or an A/W wardrobe? I like the warm tones and layering appeal of Winter.
Which trend or style will you wearing be this Autumn/Winter? I’m popping a bit of emerald green into my wardrobe and might add a bit of military. It inspired my Winter 2013 collection which I showed last year in September.
What is the one clothing item you will never lend to a friend? And why? Probably my Hugo Boss suit which I have worn to death! It’s my fail safe pick me up outfit when I feel like dressing up.
How would you style a plain white t-shirt? If it’s a great fit and gleaming white, there is no need to style it up. (Gents, sit up and take notes. I’m hearing this reply often. – Ed) I am loving the new minimalism. I think people fuss too much about over embellishing things whereas there is beauty in clean, simple lines.
What colour dominates your wardrobe? Without a doubt, blue – especially navy blue. I am obsessed with Monaco Blue. There’s bound to be a bit of that popping up in my Spring/Summer collection, which I am finishing up now in preparation for my SAFW show in collaboration with American Swiss on April 13th. *claps hands*
Stripe. Denim. Leather. Which could you not live without? Denim hands down – especially my Uniqlo regular fit jeans crafted from Japanese Kaihara denim.
What is your best fashion buy? A pair of Paul Smith brown lace-ups with contrasting green laces that I picked up for about R300 at Galeries Lafayette.
What is your favourite go-to store? Honestly? (Yes, plse. -Ed) I much prefer art supply stores and book stores than clothing ones – but you can’t beat Edgars for the widest range of labels from local designer to international. (For the record, I battled with my conscience to include this answer simply because Edgars Cape Town doesn’t stock Fundudzi. – Ed #justsaying)
What has been your most embarrassing fashion moment / what will you never wear again? A pink waxed cotton shirt with white pants and white shoes I wore a decade ago to the Style Awards when I was a judge. Sometimes I still wake up in the middle of the night and go, WTF! and pray those pics never ever turn up to haunt me.
(Here, I was tempted to get back at Craig for the Edgars thing by googling this pic – then remembered The Bromwell Boutique in Woodstock carries Fundudzi. – Ed forgives transgression)
Complete this sentence; “I wish I had a penny for every time someone asked me… if I prefer media to designing. I tell them I am a communicator who uses words and clothing to transmit a message.
(I, on the other hand, would tell these dumbasses where to get off. With his most recent accolade of a feature in the March issue of Italian fashion bible, Amici, why would we want to be deprived of Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs? Seriously? – Ed *shakes head*)
Craig, it was both a pleasure and an honour meeting you. Thank you for doing this interview so beautifully. Given that we haven’t celebrated Champagne o’ clock since September last year, I think we owe each other that pleasure pretty soon. Hopefully accompanied by some of mom’s yummy baked goodies.
Til then, I’ll continue to be inspired by your regular Sunday Times Lifestyle Trendspot articles. One of my weekly highlights.
Here’s to supporting SA designers. Happy shopping everyone.
love & light
Photo credit: First pic is my own; all others captioned accordingly. BTW, SDR photography is amazing for SA ramp fashion. (Simon, I hope we get to meet soon.)