Possibilities & inventions

Fashion designer Suzaan Heyns recently opened a new retail space in Johannesburg. We caught up with her to find out more about her thoughts and inspirations.

With concepts of avante-garde ideals and classic silhouettes, Suzaan Heyns has undoubtedly gained the approval of fashion conscious men and women.

What is your earliest memory of fashion design, and wanting to work in the industry?

I used to sit and watch my grandmother while she made clothes for herself, and for me. This led me to the realisation - if you can think it, it can be done!

Which of your collections is your favourite?

The next one. Because of my love of invention, I am constantly exploring new ideas and approaches. I get excited about the prospect of the unending possibilities out there.

You used concrete to accessorise your models in your Spring/Summer 2012 collection, what was the inspiration behind this?

The collection was based around cement turning into concrete. Inspiration came from the various stages of concrete - from powder, to liquid, to a solid object. I’ve always had a keen interest in sculpture, and for me it was a method to shape concrete in a way that has never been used before. I set about liquidising and feminising something that’s quite hard and rigid.

How did you feel when your “fish scale dress” was nominated for the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa award at Design Indaba 2012?

It was an incredible honour to be recognised for my work, especially being a fashion designer. It feels good to be placed amongst peers from various other spheres of the design industry.

Which national or international designers inspire you?

Various designers inspire me. I love the workmanship and attention to detail showcased by French designers. I admire the forward thinking of Japanese designers, and I enjoy the rebellious nature of English designers.

What theme/s can we expect in your next collection?

I am currently exploring the fusion of nature and science.

What advice do you have for aspiring and upcoming fashion designers?

The only way to create integrity is to be true to yourself, enabling consumers to recognise your vision, your brand and your personality.

Are you planning to extend your retail stores outside of Johannesburg? If so, where is the first place you would like to open a new store?

At this point we love taking care of our new baby. However, the industry is very dynamic and the possibility of expansion is always on the horizon.