Rejection can be a bitch, but complacency breeds… Well, maybe it just breeds nothing but lost opportunity and a bunch of ‘what ifs’. Steven Rosenbaum avoided this fate by going for the big prize, approaching and getting rejected by YDE just a year ago, only for the retailer to call him up again this year to stock his Rosey & Vittori streetwear label across seven of their branches.

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Starting tomorrow, the Cape Town label will become part of the retailer’s offering. Steven started the label a few years ago as a “hobby” and later joined forces with Isabella Bisogno, who is now head designer for the brand.

We asked him what it is that he thinks will set them apart from any other streetweat label out there. “The brand is an extension of ourselves. Our sophisticated colour palette and clean lines set us apart. We aim to design fresh styles that run parallel to those of international trends and not a season behind.” Some of the biggest lessons the creative director says he has learned over the years, running the label, include an awareness that short cuts lead nowhere. “People want you to do well, they just don’t want you to do better than them and honesty will get you further than you might think.”

As creative director, Steven is responsible for the creative vision, the look, the feel, and the tone of a brand. “I ensure our company’s point of view, singular vision and personality can be articulated and integrated as much as possible through all touch points . I am blessed enough to have found a head designer who shares a very similar vision and brand outlook.”

At Skattie, we are all about seeing local brands prosper, and while we’ve often felt retailers could invest more in local brands, we’re not mad at whatever opportunities designers, especially young designers and entrepreneurs, are presented with as it can not only be positive for South African fashion, but the broader goal of creating a sustainable industry. At the end of the day, beyond just looking good, jobs is what it’s all about and if fashion is not creating any, there really is just no point, now is there? I mean… Surely, it’s not JUST about putting clothes on our backs?

By Sandiso Ngubane


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