You will remember my previous Nokia Asha A-List post where I told you guys all about this amazing design initiative/competition by Nokia. Fashionistas Daisie Jo & Ntuthuko Manqele are seeing their dreams become a reality with the help of Nokia, Craig Native, & of course the R50 000 prize money which will be used towards creating a 12 outfit collection.
Today I am giving you the opportunity to get to know Daisie Jo a little better. I put together a few questions for the 19 year-old from the Free State.
Tell the readers a bit about you; what you do; where you’re from etc.
I am a second year student at the Elizabeth Galloway Academy of Fashion Design, in Stellenbosch. I was born and raised in a small town in the Free State, and am absolutely loving the Western Cape!
What made you decide to submit an entry into the Nokia Asha A-List competition?
I am a huge fan of Craig Natives’ revolutionary designs and I realized what a great opportunity being mentored by him would be.
Have you always had a passion for design?
I grew up in a small town where I was home-schooled for the majority of my school career and subsequently spent most of my time drawing. It became a real passion after I won my first “design” competition at 12 years old which earned me a two-page spread in a local teenage lifestyle magazine. I have always wanted to study fashion but I wasn’t sure which institution I wanted to go to so I did quite a bit of research and came across the Elizabeth Galloway Academy of Fashion Design in Stellenbosch. The academy was running a competition for a full-time scholarship and I won. I feel lucky because I am living out my dream.
What was the inspiration behind your entry? Is this a source you are often drawn to in terms of inspiration; or were you out of your comfort zone?
No, I don’t think I was out of my comfort zone and being the young designer that I am, I believe there is a big gap in the market for local street wear. South Africa and my love for the country is definitely my main source of inspiration. Our cultures and the visual representation of that through a variety of colours speak to me. Growing up in Free State, near Lesotho, has influenced my designs greatly due to the mountainous landscape and vibrancy in the local markets.
When you found out you were a winner, what were you doing, where were you?
I was at home, in the Free State, for a semester break. I was really surprised and at the same time realized that this is a great opportunity for me.
Since being announced a winner, how has your life changed?
I was flown to Durban, and had the privilege of being able to go to the Durban July, which was a blast! I have designed my range and presented it to Craig Native. I was extremely nervous even though it was such an amazing experience to meet Craig and be mentored by him. I admire his work ethic and it was very inspiring to work with him.
How would you describe the collection you have been working on?
It is my take on street wear which is inspired by South Africa and the way I interpret it.
What has been the best & worst part about working towards getting your collection ready for the big showcase?
It’s been positive because I am doing what I love. I am still a student, so it’s really incredible being a part of the actual process and seeing how the industry actually works.
What has it been like working with Craig Native?
I do understand that he is a very busy professional and I appreciate the time, effort and care he has bestowed on us. I respect him tremendously and being able to learn from him is an experience I will never forget.
What are your plans for the future? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I do realize I am very blessed and have received incredible opportunities. I would like to contribute to the growth and success of the South African fashion industry. I think we have a lot going for us and I would like to see more people support the local industry which can lead to job creation and a better livelihood for so many people. Unfortunately, today the majority of consumers are buying fast fashion but we should be proud to wear locally made and designed products. The future? I am living for every moment and enjoying everyday to the fullest. Thank you very much Nokia and Craig Native for this amazing opportunity!
WOW!!! If that was not one of the most inspiring interview ever than I don’t know what is. Daisie jo certainly has a BIG bright future ahead of her.