Marique Yssel is known in the fashion industry for her contemporary collection, marrying conceptual prints and embroidery with practical, wearable designs.

The Pretoria-born designer is now building upon her empire of ready-to-wear apparel with soft, yet edgy garb.

The award-winning entrepreneur now based in Cape Town employs a team of seven to help deliver her design collaborations and unique collections, which will soon include a spring/summer range, launching 01 September, named ‘Awakening,’ inspired by the sensation and comfort the garments provide.

Marique’s creative process for the new range was a multifaceted technical, yet emotional journey.

“It is definitely a personal project influenced by my own life lessons and perceptions. For Awakening, it started with my interest in the print trend of “nature’s garden,” fine detail, cut wildflowers, and pattern forms, which evoked a feeling of running in a meadow, the start of spring, and feeling refreshed.”

Subsequent textural applications built along a story of strength and identity produced a versatile collection of classic and smart dresses, skirts, tops, and pants with delicate fabrics and bold features.

The fashion connoisseur is no short of notable achievements including having won the South African Smirnoff Fashion Awards in 1999, crowned as Elle’s New Talent in 2001 and was runner-up in the Fairlady designer awards in the same year.

She has showcased her ranges at the South African Fashion Week as well as on the launch of Fashion TV South Africa.  

Marique’s work has also included collaborations with local fashion brand, Phenomena, on their “BFF” label, as well as major retailer, Truworths, for their “Ginger May” and “TRS” brands and designs.

As a part of her passion for inspiring aspirant designers in South Africa, she headed the fashion department at The Design School of South Africa, as well as spent a year as a lecturer in fashion design, construction and communication at FEDISA.

“I am constantly thinking of clothing. Whenever I look at someone I analyse the garment in terms of fabric, fit, construction, appropriateness to the wearer, etc.

Taking inspiration from established designers such as Rosie Assoulin, Alexander McQueen as well as local artists like Judith Atelier and Rich Mnisi, and being able to hone in on my skillset has allowed me to feel comfortable in knowing that I can attempt any beautiful thing I see.

Now that I’m able to offer my pieces directly to consumers, I can create more authentic and intricate products tailored for the Marique Yssel woman – adventurous and sensible.”

The new ‘Awakening’ range can be purchased on the brand’s online shop,, on Zando as well as independent boutiques across SA.

Prices range from R499 to R1799

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