The place was packed when Sandiso and I got to the Adriaan Kuiters x Jody Paulsen AW 2015 launch at 19h00 last night, which was really impressive considering the rain. This is Cape Town after all, and people have been known to melt if they dare step out into a rainy night. Then it all made me feel warm and fuzzy inside, this support for this amazing homegrown brand.

In fact, when I had a chat with Jody later in the evening, our entire conversation was around the importance of support and validation. It was kind of a private conversation but I’m sure he won’t mind if I share a bit with you. He mentioned how at the very beginning of his career as an artist the coverage he got was quite motivating, almost as a sort of validation that one is headed in the right direction, how that made him feel like he could do more. It also made me think of how the interviews I got when I started the original Skattie, What Are You Wearing? blog motivated me. That motivation keeps one wanting to do more, and the more one does the better they get.

Which brings me a little closer to my point: coverage of local art and design does more than just inform, it also inspires, not only the readers, but also the creators, to keep pushing, and getting better. Hence my frustration when I see a South African website or magazine filled with 30% local content and 70% American or European content. Aarrggghhh!

Obviously we don’t live in a bubble, we’ve got keep up with what’s happening in the world, but we must balance that with a keen interest in what’s happening here. Trust me, there is so much, across fashion, art, and product design. There are so many people on the hustle, who are creating interesting things, people who could do with the motivation that coverage brings.

Yeah sure there are problems and challenges, but right now I’m finding that shit is getting so sophisticated so fast. I think we’re living in one of the best times ever for SA design and art, and it will get even better. None of us with platforms of any size can afford to sleep on this talent, this movement in South African and African creativity. We have to keep our ears as close as we can to the ground, immerse ourselves in the culture, and motivate deserving talent through coverage.

I’ll stop my rant there, I’ve probably hijacked this post enough. It was after all supposed to be about the Adriaan Kuiters x Jody Paulsen, but those are the feels that African creative entrepreneurs like them and others inspire in me. They get me so excited about local art and design that I want to see it everywhere, on front pages and headlines of every magazine, newspaper and website!


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