My Oxford Fashion Week Bloggers Party Experience

Oxford Fashion Studio put on yet another great season in New York, London, Paris and Oxford. If you weren’t there, you truly missed out on an unforgettable experience.

On 19th October 2016 at The House Bar, I presented Three looks at the Oxford Fashion Week’s Bloggers Party. It truly was a celebration of the new Generation of bloggers featuring Nateisha Monique, Delilah Elise and I.

Look 1 – Shaunna

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Shaunna’s look was a different take on the concept of an LBD – Little Black Dress. With the addition of the thick hooded black coat, The black dress could be worn to work as a piece of work wear. However, when you add the Rainbow and Spoon Black, White and Pink fur gilet, it makes it a playful outfit to be worn in the evening. I wanted this look to be wearable from day to night with only a slight change in makeup to make that transition.

This look is extremely easy to recreate, Just head to the Rainbow and Spoon Boutique 22 Park End Street , Oxford, OX1 1HU for more gems like this.

Look 2 – Sebastian

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sebastian’s look was heavily inspired by my personal style and the Metallic and Camouflage trends.  The majority of this outfit is from Forever 21 Men, somewhere that I shop regularly.  As you may know from my Instagram and Snapchat, I love wearing oversized and longline clothes because I think it gives a really interesting and urban silhouette.

The base of this look is an Extreme Longline Crew Neck T-Shirt from Boohoo Man, it is a versatile piece that can be worn with pretty much anything. Layering the Sleeveless Fitted Utility shirt from Forever 21 on top of the T-shirt adds dimension and I decided to only do up the top button and leave it open to create diagonal lines that juxtapose the diagonal lines of the Silver Faux Leather Moto Jacket that is also from Forever 21. To finish of this urban look, I added some Faux Leather Moto Joggers and Diamante Collar Clips (No longer sold) to add a bit of luxury to the outfit. Each of the individual pieces of apparel work on their own and work best when they are used as layers to an outfit.

Look 3 –  Natasha

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Natasha’s look was a slight homage to the 80’s with the oversized Leopard print sleeved sweatshirt from Forever 21 Men. I would recommend getting it in a larger size if you like the oversized fit. Natasha brought her own Jeans and shoes that completely fitted my vision and the Black Faux Fur coat is actually my Mum’s. The Choker she is wearing is from Topshop and the rose gold colour really complemented the leopard print.

My Look

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I am extremely proud of my look also. The shirt I have on is the very first (And certainly not the last) Victoyforu Shirt. I enjoyed playing with this palette of white because it creates quite a sharp look and with the small additions of the red shoes and the purple Victoryforu Logo add the necessary colour that this outfit needed.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thank you so much to everyone!

Victoryforu

Victorious Everyday

#TBTOFS Hailly London Interview for Oxford Fashion Studio’s London Collections

It was a pleasure to interview Hailly London at London Fashion Week. Check out the interview I conducted with them.


Why have you chosen Oxford fashion studio to showcase your amazing designs?

Hailly London showcased its second collection Darks and shadows in Oxford Fashion Studio’s London fashion week. Team OFS review more than 8,000 designers a year and issue invitations to extraordinary designers with original concepts. Personally, I think it’s a good platform for emerging brands to showcase their collections and interact with buyers, bloggers, press and media. It’s a great pleasure working with OFS.

What was the inspiration behind this collection?

The inspiration for this collection is a saying from one of the most famous novels, “Every villain is a hero of the other side” So thinking about the dual nature in one’s personality, The collection is called as Darks and shadows. Keeping a very simple colour palette- Black and white (neutral colours) and beautiful patterns with fine details in a simple silhouette makes this collection more contemplated and commercially viable.

Who is the target audience for this collection?

Blacks and whites are everyone’s favourite; it can be worn anytime and anywhere. Since this is commercially viable and Must have collection, it reaches to the mass market. Skirts and shorts can be worn on any occasion at the same time it can be worn casually and same with the jackets, overcoats and dresses.

14409840_1727175070879539_1664345078787695254_o

What is your brand ethos?

Our brand ethos is to provide premium quality with exclusive leather designs. We aim the garment to be comfortable and maintain standard quality for end customers.

What have you designed prior to this collection?

This is my second collection on the runway, my first collection was also very successful and also a theme collection, named as “Years of Boldness” inspired by Vintage. We got an amazing and commendable response from end customers.

14409826_1727174990879547_3321570061266770783_o

What made you into the designer that you are today?

I have a passion for my work and love to make something creative. My signature style of design is to play with the patterns and I have a passion for my work and love to make something creative. My signature style of design is to play with the patterns and yokes in the garment and, at the same time, it should be commercially viable. When the fabric is cut nicely and beautifully stitched with fine intricate details, it gives me a great feeling and stipulates me to
grow. I also went for 3 years Fashion course programme in 2011 which shaped my passion into a good and promising career.

14444695_1727174994212880_3315097592183393678_o

What mistakes have you made and what have you learned from them?

Nobody is perfect in the world. I take it as an opportunity to learn from my mistakes.

What other designers do you aspire to be as successful as?

There are many designers who inspire me all the time. One of my very favourite is Alexander McQueen- I love their designs, photography and their creativity.

If you could put your design on any celebrity which would you choose and why?

I will choose Kristen Stewart. She is pretty, smart and talented and looks fab in leather.

14435059_1727174987546214_787766536899144072_o

When you are asked “what is fashion” what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

Thinking about fashion, the first thing that comes to mind is that it’s a feeling. If you feel happy, confident and you can carry your outfit well, that’s it. Everyone start appreciating you and you feel good about it.

What is your go-to outfit/ what is your signature style?

My signature style is to play with the colours, patterns and yokes in the garment and at the same time, it should be commercially viable.

What is your motivation/inspiration behind your fashion career?

I have an instilled passion for designing from my Mom. She is very hard working & creative person. I have watched her since childhood making new dresses for me and for my sister on occasions.

14444673_1727174997546213_7969342742837451726_o

If you were to start your life over again, would you change anything?

I think I enjoy my life a lot and don’t want to change anything. I love my life and everyone who make me feel special. Thanks to everyone who loves Hailly London design!

What advice would you give to an up and coming designer?

Work hard for your passion. All the Best!!

14425306_1727175057546207_1692069210826544278_o

What is next for you and your brand?

We are launching our website very soon for selling our products and planning to be available at other online retailers shortly.

Is there anything you would like say to Oxford Fashion Studio?

It is a good exposure for emerging brands globally and into the fashion capitals. It’s such a great pleasure working with OFS, wonderful people with a great talent. Thanks to OFS Team for arranging everything smoothly.


Disclaimer : All photos were found on The Oxford Fashion Studio Facebook Page.

Victoryforu

Victorious Everyday.

OFS Paris Fashion Week Interview with Olli Turunen of Vejits

 

Vejits is a fashion brand that has a natural Nordic & Asian touch. I had the opportunity to sit down with one of the designers, Olli Turunen, and to speak to him about his latest collection that was at Oxford Fashion Studio’s Paris Collections at Paris Fashion Week.

fb_img_1472216879909.jpg


Why have you chosen Oxford Fashion Studio to showcase your amazing designs?

This is now the second time, we were last year in New York and it was a good
experience for us. Now we like to aim more in the European market.

What was the inspiration behind this collection?

Our inspiration was flowers which are blossoming in the garden and
Hermes and David statues. The concept of this collection is chic and
romantic using lace& silk fabric with embroidered details of Roman
sculptures.

Who’s the target audience for this collection?

Our target group is people who are following trends and are willing to
wear.

pariisi4

What is your brand ethos?

We know exactly where our clothes come from and how the materials have been made.

What made you into the designer that you are today?

It’s a long path. I would say that we have had the courage to try different
styles and materials. Always researching and keeping our senses open all
the time.

What mistakes have you made and what have you learned from them?

Some wrong choices with fabrics and also size & silhouette mistakes has
been done. So I still need to learn more…

pariisi1

What other designers do you aspire to be as successful as?

D&G!

If you could put your designs on any celebrity, which would you choose and why?

Anna Della Russo –  She has a unique style and she is very confident so she could carry all these outfits.

When you are asked, “What is Fashion?” What is the first thing that comes to mind?

Fashion is style and the way you emphasise your personality.

What is your go-to outfit/ What is your signature style?

Comfortable shoes, jeans and a nice pullover, especially in Winter time.

pariisi5

What is the motivation/inspiration behind your Fashion Career?

Creating clothes which will give joy to people.

If you were to start your life over again, would you change anything?

No.

What advice would you give to an up and coming designer?

Have courage, follow your ideas and dreams

pariisi3

What is next for you and your brand?

Trying to sell our SS17 collection to the shops and meet buyers.

Is there anything you would like to say to Oxford Fashion Studio?

It would be great if they can get together designers & buyers in these
cities.


It was a pleasure to interview Olli and I hope that Vejits has plenty of success in the future.

Oxford Fashion Week is next in the Oxford Fashion Studio season. Be sure to get your tickets nice and early.

Victoryforu

Victorious Everyday

 

Couture safe for Vegans to wear – OFS Interview with John Herrera

lfw-ofs

On Sunday 18th September, I had the privilege to interview John Herrera, A brilliant and innovative designer from the Philippines. His neoprene designs are lightweight, warm, comfortable and doesn’t harm any animals! He’s such a kind-hearted man and he was a pleasure to interview!


img_2pyv07.jpg

Victoryforu : Why have you chosen Oxford Fashion Studio to showcase your amazing designs?

John Herrera : My London journey began two years ago when I was selected along with 5 Filipino designers to participate in the International Fashion Showcase 2015 ( Feb, Brewer St. Carpark Soho). There more than a hundred designers from 30 countries got to showcase their work for the first time to the UK press. With the collective energy of the other designers like myself blended with the artful and subversive vibe of this city, I knew I was transfigured. Last year, I got an invitation from Tiffany Saunders by email to join OFS, after researching on her platform online and seeing how committed they are to their vision, I applied to be a part of this season’s line up.

img_8247-jh

V: What was the inspiration behind this collection?

JH : The collection in entitle “Amaya” inspired by a very infamous warrior leader of a tribe from pre- colonial Philippines. I wanted to bring her to the 21st century and imagine her on the streets of London. She was the warrior of the kingdom that found a lot of gold in the Philippines, this was before the Spanish came over. The first thing I decided to use is the cowhide leather. I come from the shoe capital over the Philippines, it’s called Marikina, all of the shoes are produced there. It took a while to meld the design of the shoes with the outerwear, as I really love designing outerwear, like trench coats and evening cocktail dresses. Then it just took on its own form, the armor inspiration went in, my love for elaborate pattern making and my love for 3D design. I have mastered the female figure and I am trying to create new silhouettes.  I hope that was evident in the show because that is exactly what I was trying to get across.

V : Why did you decide to use neoprene as appose to leather or denim?

JH : I just love neoprene. It’s better than denim for me. It’s nicer to look at, to feel. It’s better in pictures than wool and cashmere because it’s smooth and it just looks slick and, I think, people look taller in it too. I am inspired by this new fabric that is inspired by scuba diving outfits and places like Japan have been developing it for years and it’s just so new than what we are used to seeing. It’s super lightweight which makes it easy to travel with, you don’t have to iron them either. When I wear it, it is like it is hugging me and if I can give that experience to a lot of people, then why not. A lot of Vegans have been buying my clothes because it’s difficult to believe that a warm coat can be made without harming animals but now it is possible with neoprene. It is not a market that I targetted from the beginning but now that I have their ears, I will be leaning more to designing clothes that are more animal-friendly.

img_8244-jh

V : And why the Gold? I thought the neoprene added a very futuristic vibe to the outfits and then the shinier parts of the Gold added a more classic, royal look to it.

JH : I think I used it for exactly the contrast that you just said. I think that was really my aim and my thinking at the time. A lot of designers design to please others, whereas I design to please my own eyes, my senses. I love the difference in feeling from the shiny gold to the neoprene. It’s quite the sensation. I am a designer who loves very very simple inspirations and philosophy, I just follow my senses because if it pleases me, it’s bound to please other people.

V : I love that way of thinking, What is your brand ethos?

JH : I have built my brand based on the concept of service. Whenever I design, I think of the woman wearing the pieces and where she’s going to wear them. I work with female staff who believes in this vision too. I believe in constant evolution, lately I have found myself transitioning into a vegetarian and this philosophy of being kind to animals will definitely spill to my designs. This will be the last time my brand is working with real leather.

img_8241-jh

V : Who’s the target audience for this collection?

JH : Independent women who think for themselves, women who are empowered.

V : What have you designed prior to this collection?

JH : In my 12-year career, in the Philippines, I have designed over 20 capsule collections. You can look them up in the “blog” of my website : johnherreracouture.com

V : What made you into the designer that you are today?

JH : As a young boy I have always reworked my clothes. My mother wouldn’t teach me to sew so I taught myself. I don’t remember a time when I was doing it in some small capacity.

img_8259-jh

V : What mistakes have you made and what have you learned from them?

JH : Mostly conversing with fabrics. A decade in, I still find this part very challenging.

V : What other designers do you aspire to be as successful as?

JH : I love the Brits: Westwood, McQueen, Galliano, McCartney.  And the Japanese: Kawakubo, Miyake, Watanabe. These artists blew my mind when I was a fashion student.

img_8258-jh

V : If you could put your designs on any celebrity, which would you choose?

JH : Sarah Jessica Parker, Daphne Guinness, Iris Apfel.

V : When you are asked, “What is Fashion?” What is the first thing that comes to mind?

JH : Fashion is the art of self-expression through clothing.

V : What is your go-to outfit/ What is your signature style?

JH : Black makes me feel safe.

img_8254-jh

V : What is the motivation/inspiration behind your Fashion Career?

JH : Everything I know in life I learned through fashion. Clothes have been a major part of the fiber of human existence. I believe in its power. To heal, to change one’s life.

img_8251-jh

V : If you were to start your life over again, would you change anything?

JH : Nope.

V : What advice would you give to an up and coming designer?

JH : Just keep at it. We all have our place in the sun.

img_8249-jh

V : What is next for you and your brand?

JH : Sustainable clothing. Kind to animals and kind to the planet.

V : Is there anything you would like to say to Oxford Fashion Studio?

JH : Thank you for everything and see you guys next season.


Thank you so much to John Herrera for this interview. It was a privileged to meet you and I hope Victoryforu Viewers will check out his website Here!

Victoryforu

Victorious Everyday

 

Black Angels – Urban Zulu interview for Oxford Fashion Studio’s New York Collections

ofs-nyfw

Yesterday marked the start of New York Fashion Week and also the first in the Oxford Fashion Studio Runway Shows. I had the opportunity to do a skype interview with the creator of Urban Zulu, Papy Kaluw. It was such a pleasure and a blessing to interview him so I hope you enjoy this interview.


papy_profile_nyfw

Meet Papy Kaluw!

He is the head designer and founder of Urban Zulu, a South African based fashion label. When he was a young man, in the late nineties, he moved to South Africa from The Democratic Republic of Congo to pursue his dream and establish himself as a fashion designer.  Over time, he developed not only his pattern making skills but also his distinct approach to blend traditional African fabrics with contemporary design. Papy has dressed a number of celebrities and his work has been shown on national television. He has showcased several times at South African Fashion Week and other national events and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Fashion Design and Technology Department at the Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria. 

_dsc2594

Urban Zulu specialises in ready-to-wear as well as custom made clothing for men and women as well as accessories and concepts. The name Urban Zulu signifies the meaning of Urban Heaven and their latest collection that will be at Oxford Fashion Studio’s New York Collections aims to reflect that. Here is what Papy had to say about his new Black Angels collection:

Victoryforu: Why have you chosen Oxford Fashion Studio to showcase your amazing designs?

Papy Kaluw: I like the team, I like the freshness of the team. They’re new, young and talented with a great vision. Oxford Fashion Studio, They are not like an old machine that when you press the button, everything works slowly, they’re really fresh, they’re really young, they have great new ideas and they really take care of the designers. They follow up, they help you: They are really great! I think, for me,  it’s one of the best experiences, I have worked with many different people but the treatment that I get from them (Oxford Fashion Studio) is different. I like working with them!

V: I am sure Carl, Tiffany and the Oxford Fashion Studio team would really appreciate hearing that so thank you, What was the inspiration behind this collection?

PK: I did this collection specifically for New York Fashion Week, it was not a collection that I already had planned and put together. When I decided to do New York Fashion Week, that’s when I decided to do this collection called Black Angels. Urban Zulu as a brand actually has a mandate, I am a little bit religious, I believe that God has assigned me to do this, to bring positivity back to being black. Every time black is mentioned, it is always to do with negative stuff, if Africa is mentioned, it’s almost always something negative. For me, New York Fashion Week is one of the greatest platforms, we’re bringing down Black Angels. When we talk about Angels, it is positive and anytime black is mentioned it is almost always negative. So the Black Angels is to show the positivity of being black which is Africa. That is the inspiration! We use a very popular cloth with a pattern called Dashiki. This is what we use as the centre of attraction because what the Dashiki has done, it has united the people all over, the people of Africa all over the world. When you go to Congo, they’re all in Dashiki, when you go to Cameroon, when you go to Nigeria or England even in Europe, you see people wearing Dashiki all the time. It has become a symbol of unity for the African Community.

2016-05-uz-winter-style-9501cce

V: So from that, is your target audience the Black community or are you targeting everyone?

PK: Everyone. You must understand one thing. The cuts of the suits we use every day come from the Italians because they had done such a great job of trading in the market and now it has become the norm. So, now my job, my assignment is to bring that greatness of what African fashion can be to the world. I want everyone in the world to be able to wear African style without having to think this is African Style in the same way that Italian Suits have become the norm. Coming to New York is actually helping us to show this further, we want to target the rest of the World. Everyone already knows about us in Africa so now is the time to spread out. 

V: That makes a lot of sense and it is really empowering to see loads of people from different cultures embracing different cultures. I think that is something that is definitely necessary in this world and another way of us all showing love. What would you say Urban Zulu’s brand Ethos is?

PK: Our Ethos and What we stand for is the assignments to bring the heavenly to earth. The direct translation of Zulu into English is Heaven. So basically, Urban Zulu is the representation of Urban Heaven – Heaven on Earth. When you are an Urban Zulu guy, you represent that Heavenly mentality. In creation, God created one man (Adam) and from that man we all came. Whether you’re Green, Peach, Black or White, for Urban Zulu we all came from that one person and that should unify us. Our Ethos is “We are One, We are all from heaven. (Created By God)” This is what we always try to promote and always try to represent!

2016-06-urban-zulu-style-2487

V:  That is extremely interesting, Thank you. What would you say have made you the person and designer that you are today?

PK: What made me into the person and designer that I am today is the idea of Service. I am here to serve, as much as fashion can be a little bit glamorous, it’s more about service. If you place yourself in a position of service and know I am here to serve these people, It will change your way of looking at things. For me, Clothing people is my assignment, when you put it into that concept, it makes much more sense. When I am dealing with someone, my mindset is always service to give the people what God has given to me to offer. When you are ready to serve, you will be served, once you start serving the people, things start to come back to you and you will become popular. Service is the Key! 

V: Through your life, Through your design career, are there any mistakes that you have made and if so, what have you learned from them?

PK: You don’t stop making mistakes! You don’t get to a point in life where you make all of you mistakes and then Stop. If you look deeper into my biography, you will find out that I am a self-taught designer and self-taught businessman. The idea of me starting this brand on my own to where we are today now having employees is amazing but it wouldn’t have happened without the mistakes. There have been countless mistakes and I don’t regret any of them. It’s actually the mistakes that teach you what you need to know, I am actually quite happy with all of the mistakes that I have made. If I didn’t make some of those mistakes, I wouldn’t be here. So I can’t say that I would change any mistake I have made because it has made me who I am today. I am very grateful for all of the mistakes I have made and also grateful to God for granting me life so I can learn and make mistakes.

V: Which designers do you aspire to be as successful as and linked with that who would you like to dress?

PK:  I have been asked this question quite a bit and it is a little hard for me to answer because of the fact that I am a servant. If I get the call to serve, I will serve. I don’t look into other people’s work – That is also my mentality – I focus on what I am doing. I am not aspiring to be another designer as I have had an amazing unique journey. I believe that my journey is really unique and it has been destined to be what it is today.  Maybe one day, someone will look up to me but they will follow their own path. However, I do like some other designers work. I was born and raised in The Congo so I used to like Papa Wemba, there was this guy who used to dress him called Yohji Yamamoto – he’s Japanese – I liked how he cuts the clothes, it’s very funky! I think it is also very original and very spiritual. I love good cuts and patterns and Yohji has it, he’s someone I would love to dress. Celebrity wise, I have dressed people in South African, I am actually one of the top artists. There aren’t many big names in South Africa that I haven’t dressed, I am one of the top guys. I would love to dress Black Eyed Peas’ Will.I.Am because he’s very funky and very trendy. I also grew up loving the Fugees and I’d love to dress Lauryn Hill. I think we could also take Urban Zulu to Solange as well. These are the people in America I would like to dress but in South Africa we have dressed Micasa and some other big names from South Africa.

V: I could completely see Solange and Will.I.Am in your designs. So what is your personal style?

PK: My Personal style, Great, It’s very street and African and Urban. It’s also very classic and clean. I am the guy that will wear the latest Air Max or Adidas or Yeezy with with African Print trousers, a white shirt, slim leather tie with a Jacket, cowboy hat and glasses. That is actually my style. It’s classic, it’s street, it’s funky and it’s African and very slick at the same time.

V: That actually sounds so brilliant. Personally, I love anything with bright colours, bold patterns that are dynamic and interesting. So your Personal Style sounds like something I’d love to try out.

PK: Or I would wear a pair of Jeans with a nice white sock, Doctor Martens Shoe, a white shirt with an African Bomber Jacket even if it is longline, I still keep that white clean look but I can’t hel but add an African touch to my body, it’s just in my blood. I am currently wearing a white shirt with my own African Print bow tie.

V: I really like the bow tie, it looks so brilliant. Definitely something I would wear!

PK: Thank you very much, I will send you one with Carl and Tiffany.

V: Thank you very much! I look forward to wearing it. What advice would you give to an up and coming designer?

PK:  Originality. My advice is Originality because when you find you, you will find you. God never created two people the same, he created one. Like Darius Smith, there is only one guy. If you don’t find you and you are trying to be Vivienne Westwood or Massimo Dutti or even Urban Zulu, it won’t work. You need to find your own assignment aand do it to the best of your ability, you have been equipped to run your own assignment. Young man, find you, make you and you will never work a day in your life.

V: Thank you very much for that Amazing advice. For me, Fashion, Writing and Dance are my passions so doing interviews like this are perfect. I am in my element. I’m just so happy and that is why I am smiling at the moment. 

PK: I am grateful that I can share with you what I know about style and fashion and I am so grateful that I can speak to you as well. You are in a place that we as a company want to get to. England is somewhere that Urban Zulu would really grow. It has been a priveledge and an honour so thank you!

V: Thank you so much. I wish you all the success with Oxford Fashion Week’s New York Collections and I hope to speak and work with you soon.


Being able to interview Papy Kaluw was such a blessing and hopefully we will be able to work together in the future so keep it locked here on Victoryforu Fashion to see the developments of this interview.

Last Night, Urban Zulu took to New York Fashion Week with Oxford Fashion Studio and he absolutely dominated. Check out this video to see some of the amazing designs:

Another Big shout out to Sibo Mabuza (Papy’s Wife) for setting this interview up and being so kind to me in the process. I pray that God will continue to bless you both in your marriage, in your business and in your lives.

Go and check out urbanzulu.com for more magnifient work!

Victoryforu

Victorious Everyday