How this top SA fashion designer became successful

Image source: Supplied
Suzaan Heyns is a Johannesburg-based label. The brand was launched in 2008 and has since quickly amassed a following amongst fashion conscious men and women. The brand's signature can best be described as having an architectural sentiment that has a feminine twist, with concepts derived from avante garde ideals and classic silhouettes.

Here, Suzaan tells us more about her job:

How did you end up working as a fashion designer?

I won a bursary through Elle Magazine to study fashion at LISOF design school in Johannesburg. From there I started doing fashion illustration for the advertising industry and spent a couple of years styling as well.

This afforded me the opportunity to slowly build my label in my free time with the bit of extra money I was making by freelancing. In 2010 my business partner, Moira Jensen, joined the business and we built it into a company in which I could then design and produce garments full-time.

They opened up our first shop in Melville in 2011 and moved to Melrose Arch in 2012 where the flagship store is currently situated.


What is a normal day like for you?

We start the morning in the studio with a production meeting discussing deadlines for clients, clothing drops for the shop and planning around ranges or Fashion Week. Everyday is completely different.

I might be doing interviews, shoots, client fittings, patterns, cutting, grading or attending a work function. I am very hands-on in the studio and do all the master patterns and sign off on each garment myself.

We also experiment with various techniques and materials in the run-up to a show and the studio can get quite messy and chaotic at times.

What are your biggest work challenges?

Being a small and experimental label, we constantly change the systems that we work in to accommodate fabric shortages, time-frames and other obstacles. Fashion is not an easy industry and still relatively touch-and-go regarding resources in manufacturing and supplies.

Sometimes every day can be a challenge, but luckily in our case we can make snap decisions to work around them.

What is the best part about your job?

There are many aspects of my job that I love. Working with clients on wedding dresses and special occasion-wear and seeing the transformation is always satisfying.

I also love the experimental nature of the fashion shows and art projects that I am involved in, which constantly push my creative boundaries. The fun part is that I get to play on a daily basis.

Follow Suzaan Heyns on Twitter @suzaanheyns

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What part of your lifestyle are you most conscious about when it comes to sustainability and ethical consumption?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Clothing and accessories
13% - 38 votes
Skincare products and makeup
16% - 46 votes
Food and home
71% - 210 votes
Vote