Interview with rising fashion designer: Robyn Clark

by Jade Rhode

Fortunately, we live in a world where brands and collections are starting to focus on being more gender-inclusive. Gender Collapse possesses this and more!

Fashion designer Robyn Clark believes in fashion equality and neutrality. Source: Robyn Clarke

Design Academy of Fashion graduate Robyn Clark is a 25-year-old rising fashion designer from Cape Town. Robyn was awarded not only Truworths’ Most Fashionable Commercial Range of 2019 but also the prestigious Gucci Fellowship Program which sees her traveling to Italy in the future. Read more to find out about this talented designer.

What sparked your interest in fashion?

Personal style. I have always taken it upon myself to inspire myself and others through style. This sparked my interest and showed my creativity in fashion. I’ve always had a passion for creating and a need for something new and unique.

You mentioned you have a passion for creating. What garment is your favourite to create and why?

I haven’t really got a specific favourite when creating. It’s mostly about what I feel is missing from fashion that I usually take my inspiration for creating from; what I think can be a unique and interesting addition to fashion and style.

How would you describe your style?

My style is very versatile. I usually base it off my mood when I wake up; it also depends on what I’ll be doing that day and where I’ll be going. My style also varies with current trends, but mostly I [would] describe it as a tomboy with a bit of a sexy twist.

You have a graduate collection. What is the name of your collection and the inspiration behind it?

The name of my collection is Gender Collapse. It’s based on a gender-neutral theme. Gender is defined as either of the two sexes (male and female), especially when considered with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones. The term is also used more broadly to denote a range of identities that do not correspond to established ideas of male and female. This has defined what we wear and what we are “allowed” to wear, the way the clothing fits, the colours and the price. The separation of male/female clothing items has separated us as a society. It has put people into genres they might not even want to be in, made people insecure and made them need to be seen as a certain way to conform to society’s roles. This can make a person never know who they truly are or want to be. It holds us back from being accepted. I chose this theme to take away the definition of gender and to incorporate a feeling of neutrality and equality in clothing and style.

Gender Collapse presents an all-white gender neutral theme. Source: Instagram: @dafacademy

What makes your garments in your collection Gender Collapse gender-neutral?

All my garments are unisex in style and each garment can be paired with any other garment in my collection. They are neutral in their styling and colour.

Why did you choose an all-white theme for your collection?

I used all-white in my collection to reflect neutrality and newness, something pure and not yet used or worn.

You were awarded the Gucci Fellowship Program. Could you tell us more about this amazing opportunity you’ve received?

The Gucci Fellowship Program has awarded me a year in study and work in the Gucci headquarters. This entails me moving to Italy for a year to experience and learn their input in the industry.

With all that is going on in the world right now, do you feel that there is still an opportunity for people to pursue a career in fashion? Why?

Yes, I do. Fashion will always be a necessity. Whether you are stuck at home or on the front lines, there will always be an interest in creating new designs and incorporating fashion in any experience throughout the world whatever the circumstance.

What advice would you give to young designers?

Be true to yourself in fashion. It can be very tough out there in the fashion industry and you’ll always find new ways of expressing your creativity, so never be closed off to any opportunities.

What would you like to achieve before the end of 2020?

Gain as much experience as possible.

Finally, where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?

Fully emerged in my career as a fashion designer in Italy.

With a collection focusing on gender-neutrality, Robyn Clark’s Gender Collapse shows us that fashion has no gender. We should break the moulds that society has created and just be ourselves. To know more about this inclusive collection, follow Robyn on Instagram @robynrcclark.

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