Hey guys hope you are all great, and allow me to officially welcome you to 2018, I know I’m a month late but better late than never. So I had a very long and hard January but its over now time to focus. I decided to treat you to a beautiful blog post that will introduce you to the Queen of haute couture, an award winning designer and stylist and the owner and head designer of Yvonne Yvette designs. I have to say this was an eye opener for me, one of the best interviews I ever had. I hope it will inspire and motivate you to look for that thing that sparks your life and invest in it just like it did.
1. I love your designs. Please tell me what inspires your work?
It’s the results that I see when I make beautiful people look even more beautiful by dressing them in a YY design. That’s what drives me, the desire to see people look amazing just from wearing an outstanding clothing item.
2.When did you realise you wanted to work in fashion and how did you get to where you are now?
I realised I wanted to work in fashion over 3 and a half years ago. The support around me and the passion I have for designing and styling is what brought me to where I am today.
3. Hard work pays off. Tell me what are some of your career highlights?
Showcasing at Manchester Fashion Week 2016, that was an amazing experience and winning 3 awards for my work. I received my first award just over a year after beginning my fashion designing journey. That was a Personality of the Year from the Black African Woman Rock (BAWR) organisation.
4. Who do you think was your earliest style inspiration?
It was my mum. She had style and an eye for fashion, in her own kind of way of way of course. She had a fondness for sewing and used to subsidise the family’s income with money earned from pieces she made from her hobby.
My dad, who worked in clothing retail shop also had an influence on me. He was really particular about his clothing.
5. Nowadays we learn almost everything online, do you think going the traditional route of going to school graduating and the getting jobs is a great idea? Why?
Oh no, formal education is not yet outdated and I don’t see it geting outdated any time soon. I studied Accounting and Information Systems and I worked in 2 different banks after graduating, until I realised that fashion and not banking was my real passion. But then again, I do make use of the valuable skills I earned from both University and work.
The knowledge learnt online is not always valid and up-to-date, as we have all learnt from the wave of fake news in recent years. So to anyone I know, I would say, follow your passion but make sure it is not misguided through tying it with some level of formal education.
Some people like to have steady jobs, I do not see anything wrong with that.
6. I am a young fashion blogger and I met you through social media, how do you think it has an impact in your business as a designer and in yourself as a human.
Social media has had a positive impact on my business. I would have not reached the amount of customers that I reached with my business, had it not been for social media. I currently do not need a physical shop as I make most orders from social media and third party word of mouth advertising which is also rooted in social media. So yeah, social media has been positive to my designing business.
On a personal level, I think social media is incredible as it allows me to make new friends and connect with long lost relatives and friends. However I’m always wary of the potential risks that it poses. Social media can destroy your life in the click of a mouse if you are not careful
7. What would you have become had you not been a designer?
I would still be working towards being a Banking Operations Manager or something along those lines. But I think I would have found myself still uncomfortable and seeking a way to become a fashion designer somehow, hahaha.
8. You have seen designers in Africa and in Europe, do you think as African designers we will get to the European market and get to compete with designers from london and the rest of your continent.
Oh yes of course. If you notice, fashion goes along with music and the world is already warming up to African music on a high profile level. Our artists are competing/collaborating with the likes of Drake and Major Lazer, and through their music videos, they are showcasing designs by African designers. Sooner or later it will be time for those designers to step up and compete/collaborate with designers on the world stage. If I’m not one of them, I will be supporting whoever will be on that stage.
9. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
On billboards representing Zimbabwe of course.
10. If you could speak to 16 year old you, what would you say to her?
Follow your passion but don’t underestimate the power of education.
11. Thank you so much for your precious time, any word of encouragement to a young African girl child with a dream for fashion designing and is feeling like giving up because of her current circumstances or situations.
What is in you is much much bigger than the difficulties around you. Never give up or give in, your time to shine is around the corner.
Thank you for having me and all the best for you and your blog.
You can stalk her on her social platforms:
Facebook: Yvonne Yvette Designs