Who is Emmy Kasbit and what makes the soul behind the designer and his collections?
Jane Folodi chats to the ever creative, Emmy Kasbit…
1. What was the pivotal moment that ignited your fashion journey?
The moment was in high school when I attempted to alter my boring school uniform because it irked me and I hated the way I looked in it. So I took it upon myself to make my uniform unique.
2. What philosophies influence the start of your day?
– Innovation (The need to bring new designs to life).
– Completion (The fashion community grows everyday and I have to be ahead at all times).
– Make a living. (My mentor always tells me that “fashion is a business”), and I intend to make a living out of fashion.
3. What inspired your AW/17 collection?
The AW/17 collection was inspired by the life of the Sub Saharan nomads. It tells the story of men on a journey to liberation, albeit life’s setbacks.
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4. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Nigeria.
5. What elements of your childhood are incorporated in your fashion?
Growing up wasn’t really easy for me. It was tough. So I think in a way it’s incorporated in my fashion because my pieces always come out strong and bold…
6. Do you have any key mentors or people who deeply influenced who you are, what you believe in and what you’re committed to in your work and life?
I have people who I really look up to. Most of them aren’t famous people but whenever I need advice or I feel like things aren’t going the way I planned, I go to them.
Their words of encouragement and support keep me going; So I feel like I owe it to them, to be successful.
7. With regards to SAMW, is there a future for fashion in South Africa, and the African continent?
I’m really impressed with SAMW.
This is my second season at the show and I must say it keeps getting better each season.
This is the biggest show I’ve done yet and I think African fashion is earning a spot in the globe with SAMW.
South Africans are so rich when it comes to fashion and it’s going to go a long way in the near future.
8. What is the most challenging aspect about your career and how do you overcome it?
The most challenging factor includes having to be up late, either doing research or creating a piece. But, hey! This is what I signed up for.
It’s my passion, so I really don’t mind it
9. What is one of the funniest/peculiar moments you’ve ever had in the fashion industry?
Hmm… funniest moments?
I think it was at the Lagos Fashion and Design Week in 2016.
When I met with Fashion Consultant, Diana Opoti from Kenya and she was trying to ask me about how I came up with the name “Emmykasbit”.
After explaining to her, she responds “Oh okay”, but continues to say that whenever she hears the name, she thinks it’s a female designer.
10. If you were on an island, and were given only one choice, which designer would you like to take on the island with you?
I’d like to take Jenevieve Lyons with me. I really admire her creativity a lot…
11. Which big names do you see yourself designing for?
I see myself designing for the likes of Bonang Matheba. Kanye West as well.
12. Any words of encouragement to aspiring young designers?
Rome wasn’t built in a day! Just keep pushing. Don’t hold back, but at the same time “Do You”.
13. If you were to define yourself in one of TYI’s leadership categories, what would it be? (Healer, Trailblazer, Influencer, Innovator or Disruptor?)
I see myself as an Influencer.