BWA Chats To Alice And Olivia, Designers Of Lalesso

We had a chat to the divine designers of South African based, ethically created label Lalesso about the brand’s inception, aesthetic and life in general.

Tell us a little about how Lalesso was born and what the meaning is behind the labels name?

Lalesso was born after a road trip to Lamu on the North coast of Kenya. We bought some vintage fabric from the market and one thing lead to another! The word ‘Lesso’ is the tractional name for the fabric which is the backbone to the brands aesthetic, identity and inspiration.

I have to commend your passion for creating a better future for Kenya- could you tell us a bit more about your work and tell us what SOKO is all about?

The start up of Soko was instigated by Lalesso in 2008. It took years of fundraising to finally get it off the ground. Soko now has 35 tailors is run by Jonanna Maiden in Voi, Kenya. Soko is sustainable and supply’s staff tea and lunch every day and pays for anyone with children under 6 years old to go to pre-school. Its remarkable how far the whole concept has come. Its important to us that our creations are produced in a place of harmony. I think that energy transcends into the garments and the wearer.

What are some of your biggest achievements to date?

Winning GLAMOUR magazine’s ‘Women of the Year’ in 2010 for being ‘Ethical Entrepreneurs’ was extremely humbling.Lalesso also won the 2009 Invovation Award from The British Ethical Fashion Forum and was invited to exhibit at London Fashion Week.

What inspires you to create?

So so many things. We find inspiration everywhere and are both incisively creative people. Creating is also a mind set and a way of thinking. At the moment we are quite in to gypsy’s, mystical lands, voodoo, ancient Queens and North Africa.

Do you have role models that inspire you?

Both our mothers have always ‘created’ so we grew up around strong creative women which has definitely shaped us.

What does style mean to you?

Style is having a good aesthetic. Style transcends into every part of your life, food, travel, music, your home and of course your clothes. They are all such beautiful components that enrich our lives.

How would you describe the aesthetic of your latest collection?

Our new collection which we will be showing on the 28th July at Mercedes Benz fashion Week Cape Town is an exotic journey.
Inspired but the mystic nomadic free spirited traveller.

In lands far far away where the elements swirl.

The collection comprises of natural textiles, silk, cotton and hand crafted brass embellishments.

With the flattering, free flowing colour bursts that Lalesso is known for, this collection will take you on a spontaneous voyage.

Any favourite Australian labels?

So many! Sass and Bide, Ksubi, Zimmerman, Ellery, Akira….

The one thing you can’t leave the house without?


Finally, if you could have breakfast with anyone alive or dead who would it be and why?

I am sure Cleopatatra would definitely make for some interesting conversation!

Check out the incredible behind the scenes footage from Lalesso’s SS 2012 campaign, shot in the most incredible desert location.



  • Reply thugsy Friday 20th July, 2012 at 8:09 am


  • Reply doogs Friday 20th July, 2012 at 8:06 am


  • Reply bardie Friday 20th July, 2012 at 8:02 am


  • Reply jarjar Friday 20th July, 2012 at 7:51 am


  • Reply T1NA Wednesday 18th July, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    what a beautiful place they’re at

  • Fashionista8P
    Reply Fashionista8P Wednesday 18th July, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    really great interview

  • Reply Cinthia Wednesday 18th July, 2012 at 11:20 am

    very inspiring

  • Reply Zerotolove Wednesday 18th July, 2012 at 12:06 am


  • Reply RachelMoon Tuesday 17th July, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    very good

  • Reply Fiendangelical Tuesday 17th July, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    great interview, the pic is lovely

  • Discomilk
    Reply Discomilk Tuesday 17th July, 2012 at 7:40 am

    Awesome interview! Love the beach.

  • Reply dj23249 Tuesday 17th July, 2012 at 7:02 am

    Truly inspirational and great role models

  • Reply sappheire Tuesday 17th July, 2012 at 12:20 am

    It will be great to see Lalesso down under

  • Reply cindyfeng92 Monday 16th July, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    absolutely gorgeous designers

  • smurfette
    Reply smurfette Monday 16th July, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    great interview

  • newbie
    Reply newbie Monday 16th July, 2012 at 8:54 pm


  • Reply cadam Monday 16th July, 2012 at 8:24 pm


    • newbie
      Reply newbie Monday 16th July, 2012 at 9:03 pm


  • Reply jreilly Monday 16th July, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    very good

  • Reply maggielyly Monday 16th July, 2012 at 7:45 pm


    • newbie
      Reply newbie Monday 16th July, 2012 at 9:07 pm


  • Reply AmberB Monday 16th July, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Great interview!

  • Reply Senorita Monday 16th July, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    great interview

  • Reply Whatthe Monday 16th July, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    Very sahara/tropical, free and easy type of holiday look. Makes me want to go on holidays!

  • Reply sarahlansell Monday 16th July, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    great interview…such inspirational designers

  • Reply Ange Monday 16th July, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    wow nice!

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