In conversation with Havilah
Meet the new designers shaking up New Zealand’s fashion scene from afar.
Each designer within this interview series is a multidisciplinary artist, maker and non-compromising force of creative resistance. At a time of socio-political uncertainty we are inspired by their journey, knowledge and understanding of the future. It reminds us to trust your art and believe in your values.
The 20-year old designer’s work is unapologetic, art-inspired and yet incredibly wearable.Her designs prove ethical and recycled fashion can be fun and inventive.
Havilah designs with recycled materials and zero waste techniques. Also — Did we mention she is only 20?!
Tell us a bit about your background prior to launching your namesake label “Havilah”
Born in London and raised between there and South Africa, I was always surrounded by around a lot of colour which has always been something thats come through my work. Living in NZ for the last 11 years surrounded my so much nature has made my love and appreciation for the environment song and finding ways to not only conserve the wildlife and saline but also to make them thrive something that has been a constant drive since starting my label last year at the age of 19.
Now being 20 and in my third year studying towards a Bachelor of design with Honours in Fashion and solely making and running my fashion label and am excited to see where it takes me.
19! You started your label at such a young age. Did you always want to be a designer?
I knew I wanted to be in a creative field from a young age and was always tossing up between becoming an Architect or a Fashion designer.
Is there anything else you are working on when you are not designing?
When I'm not working on the label I'm a full time university student and am working towards my degree and working part time in a store.
What's the concept behind the show and what can we expect in terms of the setting and music?
'Learn my name’ is inspired by interviews focusing on identity and past experiences that paid an integral part in why they are who they are today, its based on experiences shared with me, one in particular story by my mother who was part of the first intake of Female officers in the South African Military and how thats shaped her into who she is today.
This collection will make you want to not only learn the names of the many people that inspired the key elements in this collection it will also make you want to learn mine.
The show is all about embracing each model and to celebrate people of every size, age and ability. We'll be remixing a few Kaytranada songs for our show so it'll be very upbeat and percussion heavy. So be prepared for a lot of sass, movement and emotions!
Let’s chat about the fashion industry. Is it sometimes challenging to listen to your instinct in an increasingly chaotic industry?
I always go through waves of self doubt when it comes to listening to me own instinct, which I'm sure is normal for anyone in this industry but reminding myself of why i do what i do and using that drive to make the changes that i want to see happen in this industry is what has been a constant from day one.
Would you consider yourself as an artist or designer? Or can you be both?
I’d like to consider my self as both, for me its a form of self expression, a way of coping with the everyday hurdle tat we face and turning it into something that can not only help me but give people out there that feel the way i do, that share the same passions that i do.
The current fashion landscape is noisy and the future is uncertain but what excites you most about tomorrow?
That more designers are focusing on a more circulate fashion economy and are making the much needed shifts to create a more transparent, sustainably mind and ethical industry. Something that always excites me about the textile industry is the research, new technologies and fabrics that being made using regenerated fibres and by products such as milk, corn, rose petal and plastics.
Thanks havilah xx
follow her here on instagram.