#NYFW FW18 Colour x Nandi Madida
A beauty acknowledged, is at minimum what could be said about the FW18 Colour collection from Nandi. Simplicity was on the guest list, but passion was the headliner. The name of the collection describes the general idea of Nandi’s visions for her steps into the fashion industry. Coming into the American market on the 2018 NYFW stage, she made a point to ensure her vision was seen clear on Saturday, February 10th. With a diverse aesthetic of women to showcase her designs, you couldn’t help but catch the estsence of what it meant to her, and where the brand will head in the future.
With a warm welcome from America, this South African designer is more than an inspiration, she gives us art. She gives us spirit.
The Colour x Nandi Madida FW18 show took place last Saturday, February 18th through agency Oxford Fashion Studio at 3pm EST. Author Betty Fireall got #BTS with the designer, media influencer, and new mom to talk to her about what exactly she wanted to achieve for her new line of COLOUR, how she found all her inspirations, and expectations coming into fruition for the future.
Betty Fireall, Luxy Haus: You showcased your first collection of the Colour Fashion label in August 2016. How does it feel going from your initial presentation to now being in this American market for New York Fashion Week?
Nandi Madida: Oooh - that’s great! Um, I don’t know how to feel? *laughs* What I can tell you is that what I’ve learned is that people love it when you’re authentic and representing where you’re from, especially in a city like New York where everyone is different. Actually! Your home, Brooklyn, loves embracing people for being individuals and that’s what we’re about. Being unashamedly African but a modern African. We’re not like wearing skins *giggles* but we’re incorporating modernization in a way that shows there is paramount progression; being tasteful about our continent and to break stereotypes. Yes, we are African [and proud of that], but we’re also keeping up with the trends around the world and incorporating our DNA.
BF: Wow, that actually leads me into my next question regarding global trends! Based on that, would you say the South African market embraces contemporary designs of Afrocentric inspired clothing or is the market more so focused on Eurocentricity? Have you found it difficult to stray away from the traditional African aesthetic?
NM: That’s actually a great question! Honestly, the biggest challenge we’ve had is incorporating those aesthetics that are stereotypically us but in a way that is more creative than having tribal print in your face. That’s the biggest thing, for me, because I almost feel like it’s lazy otherwise. It’s always important to be creative about your aesthetics and that was paramount to us. My last collection was Moroccan inspired where we were working more with pastel tones; the continent has so much to pull from and I think, as a whole, people involved in design haven’t been as creative as they could be. There are so many different aesthetics and landscapes; we don’t always have to be the same.
BF: Speaking of incorporating Africa’s various aesthetics, I know that you’ve been involved in the music industry as well creating music. I feel as though sound can also create imagery. Would you say music has played a role in influencing your creativity and that you’ve even been inspired by certain musicians?
NM: It’s funny that you say that - even with the music we chose for this show, we could have gone the stereotypical African route with artists that we love. Instead, what we did was get a modern feel with where Africa is going: still having that traditional sound yet incorporating sounds that are very electronic. It’s just important to tell that narrative. We don’t want to stay in the 50’s forever. *laughs*
BF: Speaking of music, will you be stepping back into your own at any point?
NM: I am, actually - this year, I’m coming back! I’ve got married and had a baby. I thought being a mother would be easy and then I was like.. whoa.. nah, I need a break. *laughs* I’ve got a great deal, and we’ll be making that announcement in July.
BF: Nice!! Okay, last question! I noticed your model casting has a motley array of shapes and sizes. What’s the overall goal you have for the Colour fashion label? Do you aim to continue to go in a direction that promotes body positivity and holistic beauty?
NM: Definitely, it’s just natural. I find it strange that fashion doesn’t embrace that. I mean, it has in some ways but you can see it’s still a bit conservative. It’s a natural narrative; we have women who look different and we should embrace them. It’s also great to do so, especially if you’re interested in capital *laughs* - I just don’t understand why people are willing to discriminate so much.
So, for our casting, we have a diverse group of women. During casting, what I realized was that thicker women were so easy to find, and they are so beautiful! We’ve had such a great time because we’re embracing everyone; that’s what Colour is all about. And that’s why I came up with the name COLOUR because it’s for everyone.
*Official Interview can be found in Luxy Color (Issue 002)