BLANC, the Cape Town brand we’ve come to know for its gender non-conformist signature, last week launched a range of basics, designed in collaboration with Tameez Vayej. Tameez joins label founder, Alexandra, as co-designer. Before we proceed- let me provide some clarity.
The name of the label is BLANC, as opposed to Alexandra Blanc. We were first introduced to the founder and the brand at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week ’14, when she showcased her debut runway collection, but now, with the new partnership, Alex and Tameez decided to go more prêt-à-porter than runway.
“Working together with Tameez happened organically,” Alexandra tells Skattie. “I have never met a man who knows exactly how a garment should fit and feel, not just on the body but the feeling it creates, and get so excited about a simple hemline length or the way fabric feels.”
The Cape Town-born and bred Tameez was introduced to fashion through modelling, he says. That was followed by work in retail around the world, and working as a visual merchandiser and stylist. At one point he even became a chef, exploring the depth of his creativity in an altogether different industry.
“When I met Alex and saw her work, it inspired me to create clothing. We started bouncing ideas off each other and found ourselves working together,” Tameez adds. “Alex’s conceptual approach to fashion inspires me. Her thinking behind the designs interests me and drives me to become a stronger conceptual designer (myself).”
His own approach to fashion is very practical, Tameez says. “I love to see how a garment drapes on the body, how it feels against the skin, how it flows when walking. We started working together when Alex would come to me for advice to test her garments for the menswear part of the brand. We would both try on the garment, pick it apart and pin it until it felt just right. When we were both happy with how it looked on each of us, we knew we had something good.”
Sounds to us like a perfect partnership that is bound to take BLANC, a brand we already find exciting, to new heights.
Says Tameez, in conclusion: “I have always had a strong connection to the streets. Alex’s previous collections were presented on runways. Alex wanted to strengthen the menswear aspect of the brand and take it to the streets, and that’s where I come in.”
Check out the latest BLANC short film below, shot, edited and directed by Jacob Claasssen
Music: Jackson Scott
Models: Tim, Julian, Tameez, Kalah and Rebecca
Lookbook Photographer: Allister Christie
By Sandiso Ngubane