Durban Designer Leigh Schubert recently previewed a gorgeous range at the King Club Collections fashion spectacular. Miss Molly paid her a visit in this week’s edition of Fashion Forward with Molly…
You have just returned home from Sydney after your showcase at the Rosemount Australian Fashion Week, tell us how it went?
It went really well thanks. It was much easier the second time around as I knew the organisers and producers, and had a better understanding of how they work. The first time was very daunting as I didn’t know what to expect, and I didn’t know anyone. My collection was well received and I have now secured an Australian sales agent – so if all goes to plan I should be able to export from the beginning of next year. I am so excited about that! That was the point of showing there, so my goal was achieved.
Where else in the world do you plan on taking Leigh Schubert designs?
It makes sense to export to Australia as we have the same selling seasons being in the same hemisphere – so conquering Australia (which is massive) is my only international mission for now.
What do you think drove you to accomplish so much at such a young age?
I have always been a very focussed and determined person – ever since I was a little girl. I was fortunate enough to do my Matric in fashion in JHB, so I was qualified by the time I was 18. This meant I could start in the industry straight away. Most designers only start studying a year after they finish Matric so they usually only start working from about 22 or 23 – so that gave me a five year head start to most people my same age.
How would you describe your own style ?
It’s dark and simple.
What are you seeing in stores at the moment that you love ?
Studs and hardwear, I love a bit of Rock’ n roll!
In terms of your business, what do you feel is the greatest lesson you have learnt?
To start in the commercial industry first – learn your lessons from the big companies who sell and manufacture big units. This gives you invaluable experience in planning, assorting, consistency and quality.
Which other designers do you admire?
Locally: Paul Botha from Ruff Tung (he is just so in love with fashion), Gideon for his wonderful demeanour, warm spirit and fine detail, Colleen Eitzen for organic wearable comfortable style.
Internationally: Tom Ford for his exceptional glamour and understanding of what woman want, Donna Karan for her simple and modern femininity and Alexander McQueen for making the runway a true spectacle.
Do you have any exciting projects coming up, if so can you tell us about it?
I am working on opening a shop in Parkhurst JHB in July. My little store in Durban has done so well and made me realise how people will drive especially to come and buy my clothes. That’s been so flattering for me. I get many phone calls from people in JHB – and even though I stock 2 Space stores in JHB, the time is right for me to expand.
What can we look forward to seeing in your winter 2010 range?
There’ll be a lot of draw cords, soft knit drapey jackets, wonderful tunics to wear over leggings and some very sexy winter dresses. Its comfortable but seductive!
You have earned numerous awards since launching your label, which are you most proud of?
Being the first South African designer to show in Australia was a massive task, and having pulled it off I am very proud.