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Glamour chats to designer Matte Nolim about his brand and exciting collab

Matte Nolim recently launched his latest collection in collaboration with Pick n Pay and discussed the journey he has been on in bringing his designs to the masses.

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1.Describe your brand aesthetic?

I’ve always described it as crossdressing between Aunt and Niece, it’s ready to wear with a little bit more quality and design.

2.What sparked your interest in fashion?

I remember as a child scrolling through fashion magazines and seeing beautiful dresses and these foreign names next to the French designs. I became so curious. I started to wonder what kind of humans could create such beautiful pieces, I wanted to be like those people, to me they had super powers.

3.How would you describe the South African Fashion consumer?

The South African Fashion consumer is someone I’ve been coming across a lot in the past year and she’s not looking for anything fussy but wants exclusivity and great quality. She doesn’t want to look like anyone in her circle. She wants to turn heads and make a statement effortlessly.

4.How would you describe the woman you are designing for?

She looks in the mirror and sees her forever young spirit and not her age, she is not defined by age but by style . She is a Matte Nolim forever young doll.

5.How did your collaboration with Pick n Pay clothing come about?

I’ve always wanted to do a collab of that sort. I have so many people who have dreams of owning my designs and the hurdle has been price. So I got to learn about what Pick n Pay was doing and thought to myself, wow, this would be a great introduction to the brand. As long as the brand's spirit shines through the collaboration and at the same time at an affordable price point I believe I was able to achieve that.

6.What was that process like?

Very long and alot of back and forth. Simply because the team is quite big but it was a beautiful learning process. Looking back now, I learnt a lot during those 8 months of working on the collaboration.

7.What were some of the challenges and highlights that you experienced?

I think how young my brand identity is versus the Pick n Pay customer, these are two different worlds and customers. We really had to meet half way with so many things and had to wrestle over a few ideas but the outcome shows that two worlds came together and I’m glad I did that project.

8.Do you have a favourite piece in your collection?

Yes but these favourites change every time I see a new design in a different light or presentation. For example I wasn’t fond of the jumpsuit that much but after seeing how customers responded to it, I'm like ok, hold on what am I missing here? I then learn to see my work through the eyes of the customers. Which is also important.

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9.What characteristics do you believe are essential for would be fashion designers?

Be Inquisitive. Question everything. Understand your customers body type.

10.What is your perspective on the South African fashion industry and has it changed since you started?

I think when I started it was really more like an experimental project for a lot of designers. Now designers have value which is seen by other brands. Hence all these collabs we see happening. I see a lot of growth and it can only blossom from here moving forward.

11.What can we expect from your brand in the future?

I’m currently making a few changes and adaptations so I really want the rest to be a surprise.

12.How do you deal with pressure when things become overwhelming? What are your coping mechanisms?

I wear sunglasses.

13.Do you have hobbies?

Fashion really excites me. My hobby used to be basketball but work took over in the past few years. Also it’s not really work to be honest so I think fashion is my hobby judging by the fun I’m having with it.

14.Favourite celebrity you would love to see wearing your creations?

Rihanna has inspired so much of my designs also. She’s still that girl for me.

Image: Supplied

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