Carina Louw and Natasha Jaume, founders of ERRE Fashion, have been invited by Share Africa, in partnership with luxury fashion conglomerate, the Kering Group (think Balenciaga, Gucci, Alexander McQueen etc), to participate in their spotlight on African design venture – Africa Fashion UP. The design duo will showcase a collection entitled ‘Home’ in Paris on 17th September this year, in advance of Paris Fashion Week.
Thanking Africa Fashion UP for the opportunity, Louw said: “It is an extraordinary privilege to be invited to be part of this project. The opportunity to take our brand and share it with the world is incredible and we are excited to present a collection that embodies our spirit as a people, and a new world order in refined power dressing for women”. In the run up to the show, which will take place at the legendary Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild in the heart of the fashion capital, the pair will also participate in a workshop hosted by Balenciaga to which, they have been specifically invited.
ERRE (pronounced AIR) was launched in 2013 by Louw and Jaume, former fashion lecturers, who have now turned their eye for detail into a global success story. Taking their inspiration from the rich cultural tapestry of the African continent on their many travels, ERRE has formed a solid reputation for its redefined and refined power-dressing silhouettes that effortlessly envelope all body shapes and sizes. The luxury brand is also a sterling ambassador for locally sourced Mohair, a signature of their seasonal offerings, and something that caught the eye of the Africa Fashion UP team.
Jaume explains: “Mohair is used by many of the top brands worldwide, but few know it originates in South Africa, so Africa Fashion UP is also a chance to remind people that not only does South Africa have a wealth of talent, it also has desirable resources that are sustainable.” An ethos, which Share Africa and their partners, Kering Group strongly supports.
“For a fashion designer, Mohair is magic – a beautiful tactile natural fibre that we can twist, bend, mould, contour & knit into any shape we please. A natural fibre that is super comfortable to wear and sustainable. But it was only after taking a road trip in the Karoo in 2019 with Mohair South Africa we truly realised how important this fibre is for South Africa and its ability to generate jobs and boost the economy,” stated Louw.
The Africa Fashion UP project forms part of a wider initiative by Share Africa. Its aim is to introduce the world of fashion to some of Africa’s best creatives whose brands and ethos are on par with the quality expected to be seen on the main fashion runways. Only five brands across the continent were chosen, with ERRE being the only South African to make the grade.
On the collection they will be showing in Paris, Louw says: “Home is where we have all rooted ourselves over the past 18-months or so. We could choose to cocoon ourselves or spend the time opening our eyes to the inspiration all around us, which is what we did and what we hope we have captured in this collection.”
ERRE is distinctive for its body-inclusive lines and elegance. All women are Queens and deserve to dress like one, so it is no wonder that ERRE is dressing the likes of Princess Charlene of Monaco as well as Oscar winning actress Terry Pheto and it is playfully encapsulated in this new season. Jaume elaborates: “With this collection we wanted Home to remain true to our core yet embody the inherent resilience and humour of South Africans in facing the odds thrown at them.”
“We have also drawn on our unique floral heritage to inform our bright colour palette for this collection, which is also a symbol of promise for brighter beginnings and a celebration of our ‘Mbokodos’ (rock solid in isiXhosa) women of South Africa. As always, our garments will be beautifully constructed technical pieces that provide strong statements for women of courage and hope,” she said.
Expect powerful silhouettes in luxurious natural fibres like Mohair and wool. The beauty of these fibres will be emphasised in new, exciting ways and complemented by an optimistic colour palette in beautifully bright shades.
Louw and Jaume depart for Paris on 11th September in readiness for the workshop and the staging of their show on 17 September. Media are invited to interview them before they depart, crossover live to the show and/or chat to them on their return to SA around 22 September.