Local Brand Of The Week: C. Kingsley March 16, 2018 – Posted in: Brand of the Week – Tags: Brand of the Week, casual clothing, design, entrepreneur, fashion, local brand, Local Design, Menswear
Who needs G-Star when there is Courwan Kingsley – a local Menswear designer based in Amanzimtoti?
His natural intuition for his clients’ sense of style and true appreciation towards their individual wishes has made him an official fashion whisperer. His customers’ absolute trust in his innate sense of creativity and understanding of texture, colour, and fabric is Courwan’s driving force when people ask him to design or create an outfit for them to wear.
Following Giorgio Armani’s business model, he agrees that fashion that can’t be worn or be sold is not fashion. Courwan’s men’s range is a beautiful combination of designer clothing with influences of commercial styles, keeping a personal touch to each garment always. Creating local fashion is important to him as it truly resonates with our culture. “Local will always be lekker and never go out of fashion, because it’s for us, by us. Seeing people dress up has an immediate effect on me. My designs transcends into a merge of Courwan Kingsley and South African people”.
Read more about Localism’s brand of the week and hidden gem from the South of Durban in our Q&A below:
As a designer of mostly denims for men, what’s your favourite casual outfit?
I would say my favourite casual outfit would be a cigarette leg, classic 4 or 5 pocket jeans, a plain t-shirt with a deep round neckline, a thin silver chain around the neck to accessorize, sunglasses and plain white platform takkies.
What’s currently trending?
What I think is trending for men is lite weight printed shirts, with collar/lapels as in tailored jackets. I think shorts will continue to trend, torn worn out denim shorts, stone wash colours as well….I just wish guys would start wearing leather sandals more often. Accessories trend as well, silver chains and bracelets. Lite weight fabrics and lite colours too, I don’t really see massive trend changes for men as yet, maybe in the future.
What makes you a proudly South African?
What makes me proudly South African is not only being part of Rainbow Nation, but socializing in that manner. South Africans always boast about that title, yet still socialize in a segregated manner. When looking at my social group you’ll find different races and cultures, its something I truly love because our conversations are so dynamic. I can learn from my white friends, who can learn from me, who can learn from my black friends etc. – social life is a blast!
Where is your favourite local spot to hang and find your inspiration?
I don’t have a specific favourite spot, but going out to restaurants and seeing live bands at night really inspires me, because that’s when people dress their best, and makes me realize how much people actually love fashion.
What other local brands do you follow?
*ELPPAG, local South African clothing brand specializing in denim and leather goods.
*SIXKINGSBRAND, quality leather goods,
*Tread + Miller, a store for him, not just a shelf in hers.
*NT Leather, clothing brand and leather essentials, designed and handmade in South Africa.
*FEAT. sock co. Socks with a sense of wonder, est 2012 in Cape Town. (Started by Chelsea Wilson, studied fashion design with me)
*The Threaded Man.
*Nikki Juanita Roux, J-Nita Clothing.
*Trudine Van der Merwe, Tru_elegance_designs.
*Republic Clothing SA.
*Freedom of Movement, premium South African lifestyle brand.
What was the biggest challenge when starting your own brand and what makes you proud the most?
My biggest challenge is getting my name out in the South African industry, getting guys/men to realize that I can help them with their fashion needs. Another challenge I have is trying to get guys coming to me for a custom designed jeans for under R500, instead of going to the G-Star store and paying R2000 for a jeans that someone else will also have. What makes me most proud is that I believe my brand is for South African men, whatever your race or culture, if you’re a South African man, the brand of Courwan Kingsley will resonate with you.
Do you have advice for any upcoming designers?
My advice for up and coming designs is to take your craft seriously. You call yourself a designer? Then sew like one, make patterns like one, and don’t just get any fabric to make up your garment. Talent is not enough, you have to work hard, take yourself to the limit once in a while, see what it’s like to walk into your studio 7am and walking out at 9pm or when you need refreshments. There’s so much to be learned from hard work, don’t rob yourself of that valuable lesson, not Giorgio Armani nor Vivienne Westwood or any other master of fashion can teach you those lessons, only you!
Want more? Direct Message Courwan Kingsley to order your custom made denims on Instagram.