01 Apr Punk & Ivy’s Style Motique and A/W Capsule Collection
The husband and wife design duo Bianca and Khaya Sibiya make up the fashion, wardrobe, styling and bespoke consultancy boutique that is Punk & Ivy. The name, Punk & Ivy, refers to a style of dress for men that came about in Soweto in the 80s.
In the Q&A to follow, the duo gives us an update about what they have been working on which includes starting a family, releasing their A/W Caspule Collection, an exciting collaboration and their dream realised in the form of a Style Motique.
Since we first interviewed you back in June 2013, what has changed and how has Punk & Ivy developed?
We hustled, got married, had a baby and in between all of that made a dream come to life. We finally managed to launch a capsule collection, design our own African print, and pimp out our Motique – the first of its kind in Africa.
What is the concept behind the AW15 Capsule Collection? What are some of the looks we can expect?
Androgynous sports luxe garments made from a range of microfiber, cottons, lightweight 3m fabrics and lots of locally sourced Ostrich and Nappa leather. Designed in collaboration with Jozi illustrator and designer Lazi Greiispaces, the Caspule Collection boasts original prints, unique cuts of day and night looks as well as fabrics to suit the ‘She and Him’ of various shapes and sizes.
How did the idea for a ‘Motique’ first come to be, what were some of the challenges you faced while bringing the idea to life, and how do you stay motivated to keep it relevant years on?
The idea of a Motique (mobile boutique) was conceived out of a rather eye opening trip to SE Asia, where trade for all things retail operate beyond the 9-5pm we are so accustomed to in SA. We wanted to provide an alternative to consumers and literally turn the traditional retail model and its limitations on its head. We want to continue to create for Africans and take fashion to our customers, and not the other way around.
The Motique is a fully-fledged retail space, measuring 9,3m long and contains a fully-fledged retail and merchandising offering, a change room, a back office, seating and so much more. As a stand-alone asset, the Motique will be available for hire as there is certainly nothing like it on the streets on Mzansi.
What keeps us motivated is understanding that with every dream, there are challenges, and with that comes understanding your relevance, your target market and most importantly keeping an eye out for new opportunities. We live in a world where collaborations are so key. Our deal with Legit gave us the necessary cash injection to complete our Motique and deliver what we know is needed to the market place, and then some.
How has the South African market responded to both the concept and the clothing offered by Punk & Ivy?
Incredible! It all boils down to monetary and brand value, and thankfully the support has been great in Johannesburg. We are pushing hard to make it easier for consumers across Africa to also buy our products, thanks to the digital space.
Where do you see the South African fashion industry going? And what role do you wish to play?
We are positive about the progress to come. The fashion and textile industry has a long way to go before we can comfortably be in a space to make what we want when we want, instead of having to opt for China as a market to produce goods at prices that consumers can afford. We are also making it a challenge to source funding so that we can start our own production set up, which opens opportunity for us as a business to employ young skilled people, assist in more training, learn more, push for more hand skills to be resurrected, and most importantly to be able to be that destination for consumers who want bespoke orders delivered timeously with the best quality, all on SA soil.
Please tell us about your collaboration with Legit?
The Punk & Ivy for Legit collabo is an exciting space because unlike our own bespoke and unique fashion positioning, we were pushed into a creative space that works with fast fashion targeted at females only. Incredibly fun and definitely a learning curve! The big retailers are certainly under pressure to constantly turn around the seasonal trends for consumers, in a manner that we as a small player don’t have to feel affected by – designing for young, aspirational women on the go, for all of Sub Saharan Africa. We can’t wait to see the items on the shelves and in the streets of Mzansi, Botswana, East Africa and so on. Such an honour.
How would you describe your creative process? Which materials and fabrics do you enjoy working with?
The creative process by and large is driven by a lot of our clientele. Many come with ideas of what they like, and over the last two years we got to learn so much about how important it is to remain as authentically African as we can. Pretty much all of the textiles we buy at local retail spaces are imported from other countries, and that applies to production too. So we were conscious of who makes our garments (tailors and seamstress’) what fabrics we could control (leathers and skins) as well as the prints we played with. For our A/W 2015 capsule collection, we decided to play with androgyny and create a 14 piece collection that both males and females can wear. Almost every piece can be worn with sneakers, heels, flats, lace-ups and styled with pieces from your own wardrobe such as jeans and skirts.
What else can we look forward to from you this year?
The Motique needs to travel across the Cape Town, Durban and regions in between, as we need to take our apparel and brands to places outside of Jozi. Second to that, Africa remains a territory and a massive market we need to penetrate. Punk & Ivy blazers, shirts and suits in Lagos, Accra, Nairobi, Kigali and more. We need as much support from our government bodies to help propel people in the creative economy to cross borders. The possibilities are infinite!
Capsule Collection lookbook shot by Waldo Pretorius.