“The sole reason for living is to love and be loved.”
Falling in love with fashion as a child attending a theatre production, Gavin Rajah was fascinated by the elaborate costume changes and their ability to dramatically alter a person’s persona. Mesmerised by the masquerade of clothing; together with a passion for the palette of colour, inspired his artistic interpretation within the fashion industry. Although his father was in clothing production, they never had the opportunity to work together, yet he has always been a reference on Gavin’s illustrious journey.
One of the greatest challenges Gavin has faced in the local industry, is the concept of insular fashion; and his recent experience abroad in the Harvard Global Leadership Program, has strongly influenced his perception of fashion in South Africa, and how we can grow and change as an industry. From a global perspective, his thought process has shifted, and he is expanding his business in the international sphere, without the use of traditional methods.
Giving depth to what he is doing, he has learnt lessons from leaders with the same trajectory, but in complete different sectors, which has had a monumental impact on his business of fashion.
It’s about more than business and intelligence, it’s about inspiring others, and Gavin believes that if one has knowledge, one should allow others to light their candles in it. With this sentiment in mind, he is currently creating something transformative, with an exploratory development programme within the African design landscape. Harnessing talent and potential with a group of hybrid designers, with their fingers on the pulse of creating fashion validity in the world of the arts.
This is propelled by the need to know what is happening internationally, and this incubatory platform will mentor individuals who are not solely in the fashion sector, but who are making a difference to the landscape of design in art, music, theatre and culture.
Gavin’s own passions transcend the borders of fashion, and when he is not designing, he can be found enjoying music or cooking up a culinary storm. He is an experiential architect, who loves designing unforgettable experiences for clients, friends and family alike.
When Gavin started his career, he faced many barriers and felt vulnerable as he broke into the wide world of design, but through this platform, he aims to bring people together to create an industry in which newcomers are welcomed, supported and given honest advice and mentorship to be able to succeed.
Bringing people together to awaken collective consciousness, Gavin’s projects aim to inspire and uplift; and when it comes to his showcase on the platform this year, Gavin’s journey celebrates collaboration, details and design over the last decade, culminating in a celebration of love.
Inspired by international symbols relating to love, his collection embodies the awakening of kindness in the depths of despondence, encouraging us to fall in love all over again. Using the concept of stars, he aims to unlock an experiential flight of fantasy, in a world that is desperate with disillusion, and encourage his audience to unite, recognize the good in one another and be enveloped in this escapism, representing the various stages of falling in love.
We look forward to celebrating life, love and leadership with Gavin Rajah at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town 2017 taking place from the 23rd-25th March.
Follow AFI on Twitter and Instagram: @afi_sa for constant Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town updates as well as show schedules and ticket information.
Follow @maccosmetics and @ghd_southafrica to get the #MBFWCT17 looks locked down.
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