A YOUNG Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University fashion design graduate has opened her own clothing boutique in Port Elizabeth, stocking her own designs.
After graduating in 2010 and building up experience at the fashion department at NMMU, Bianca Fourie took a leap of faith and opened her own boutique in Walmer Park in March this year.
Her boutique – called Soigne – does not have a specific style, she says. "I don’t have a specific line or collection. I design and make various garments for my shop depending on seasons, current styles or fabrics that I find.”
Fourie said she was inspired by timeless classics and cites Italian fashion designer Donatella Versace and fashion icon Jacky Onassis as her inspirations.
She has had a good response to her designs and will be launching her men’s range this month, she said. "For the men’s range, I will be designing smart casual shirts and button up collared shirts – I have not thought about the rest.”
In Fourie’s current women’s range, she uses animal print tops with shocking sky blue elements and miniskirts overlaid by feminine blazers.
"I work a lot in linen, cotton and stretch. I have skirts made in lace and also raw silk. I buy the majority of my fabric from MGE and the printed fabric I have done in Cape Town,” she said.
The name of her shop, Soigne, pronounced "swan-nyay” means polished, well groomed and showing sophisticated elegance in French, and is a name she hopes will reflect the qualities of her clothing.
"I got the swan symbol when I was doing my third range. The swan is a timelessly beautiful animal.”