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.