It’s hard to speak about amazing South African fashion designers and not mention AKJP; a fashion brand founded by Keith Henning. In this interview we chat to Henning (left), who gave us a glimpse into his career in fashion.
What did you think you were going to ‘be’ when you grew up, and how has that changed?
I wanted to become an artist. I come from a family of designers, so it’s not too far off.
What do you wish you knew before you started your career?
Not to stress. It is a fun journey when you look at it in retrospect.
What’s the best career advice you’ve ever been given?
Have perseverance and patience.
What does fashion mean to you?
I generally associate the clothes I make in terms of their functionality in the world. Fashion, on the other hand, allows one’s mind to wonder. Therefore, I see fashion as a means of fantasy and aspiration.
In your opinion, what skills are necessary to become a successful fashion designer?
A good foundation in design is essential. The business of fashion is a crucial part of playing in the fashion industry. One needs to be able to design with this in mind. If you cannot sell, you cannot grow.
In your opinion, which fashion trend is last season?
I don’t really think about trends.
What’s next for you?
We are looking to expand the existing AKJP Collective store in Cape Town’s Kloof Street to house more local designers. We believe in growing together rather than individually. Once we are ready, we will open more outlets. Taking our time has proven to be a useful tool.
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