INTERVIEWED BY Lindi Brownell Meiring
Local clothing brand Prime Obsession, run by designers Shelley Mokoena and Keneilwe Mothoa, was one of the talented Emerging Creatives showcased at the 2018 Design Indaba Festival.
We caught up with Shelley to find out more about this exciting brand, inspirations and what we can expect next.
When did you first realise that you wanted to go into design?
I can’t say exactly when, but from a very young age. I’ve always been a very artistic and creative individual and I’ve always been a very practical person as well – I love working with my hands and creating and making things.
How did Prime Obsession come about?
Prime Obsession was born when myself and Keneilwe were both studying Interior Design. We had a common interest, something we were deeply passionate about and we started it very impulsively. We implemented something that we were already doing (wearing and shopping for thrift clothing) and made it into a business. We modelled our own clothing (still do) because we couldn’t really pay any models and people become very unreliable if you can’t offer them anything (which is understandable). We asked our student photographer friends to take photos of us and sold / marketed the clothes on social media.
How would you describe your designs?
Our designs are minimal and simple with design principle influences, such as volume, structure, balance and proportion, which comes from our interior design background. It also consists of an underlying deeper meaning and inspiration. It is clothing that you feel and resonate with, it’s not just fabric on skin.
What inspires your creations?
Our clothing is inspired by different traditions, cultures, religions as well as social issues that have happened prior and are still happening in the world we live in. These creations are translated in a very structural, yet moving and emotional manner, with simple details and exaggerated, yet understated silhouettes.
What’s next for Prime Obsession?
We’d love to expose our brand more to an international audience. More importantly, we’d like to just work on our craft and make it better and better so that the opportunities of our dreams will be realised. We also do a lot of collaborative work, which is something we want to take great advantage of – it’s amazing to be able to work with other brands and creative individuals – it gives you insight and you really learn a lot.