Q&A with Fashion Director Chris Viljoen

You talked about the Lookboard event acting as a ‘point of view’ for Spring Summer 2014 – can you tell us your thoughts on how the South African fashion public receive and translate international trends?

Trends are universal and everyone in the retail arena follows them in some way or form so the decision was made to look at the trends from a specific Spree point of view. Our decisions were based on trend analysis, on an understanding of our audience and shoppers, as well as what’s happening in fashion on a global and South African scale. In South Africa we always have a very specific uptake of trends; which is not always the same as the European or American market. Our climate needs are very different, we embrace colour more and therefore trends need to be tailored for our market.

Your top five trends for the 2014 season?

  • Florals. We are obsessed with flowers in every shape and form, and on everything from dresses to separates.
  • Art Inspired Prints. We love bold brushstrokes, paint splatters and anything reminiscent of an artists studio on our clothes this season.
  • The Tropical Holiday. Jungle motifs, large leaves and anything Tropicana serves as a retro look book this season, with an emphasis on our favourite colour green.
  • The ‘ugly’ shoe. For the first time comfortable shoe trends are all rage. Stilettos have been replaced by sliders this season.
  • Matchy matchy. Match your tops to your bottoms this season to amplify your separates.
    Spree Spring 2014-29
    Image by Zaid Joseph

Your top Spring Summer menswear trends?

  • Blues. From cobalt, indigo, ink all the way to light blue is definitely the colour you want to wear this summer.
  • Shorts. Shorts are back in a big way. We advise you to invest in pleats.
  • Tropical. Everything from micro dots to Hawaiian motifs and dark flowers.
  • Colourblocking. Whether it be colourblocking, texture blocking or panel blocking its definitely something worth investing in this season.
  • Street Active. Sportswear has been taken to the streets. Think gym staples like sneakers paired with your trusty chinos.

You have been working closely with South African designers to create capsule collections for Spree Boutique – how did you go about selecting the designers? And how do you feel the designers enhance Spree’s offering?

The South African fashion landscape is one that is as diverse as it is ever evolving; an industry that celebrates beauty, creativity and most of all the talent that is constantly appearing from all corners of our country. It is with this talent in mind that the Spree Fashion and Buying teams focused on fashion events, appearances, exhibitions and news to select designers from all over South Africa that needed to be showcased and celebrated. All aspects were taken into consideration, from impeccable craftsmanship, flawless fabrication and unique design; but most of all we looked for that special ‘something’. That something that sets a designer apart, a fresh way of looking at clothing, at lines, at colours and at trends, and interpreting them in a way that creates beautiful looks that can be worn by every woman. The designers featured are as transient as the seasons; as fashion evolves and shapes itself, so will the collections that are spotlighted. The Spree Boutique aims to showcase the incredible quality of design that can be found locally, and best of all: it can all belong to you. 

What’s the dream for Spree Boutique?

To have a transient collection of the most exciting South African design available. Read more about the different designers here.

3 thoughts on “Q&A with Fashion Director Chris Viljoen

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