In their signature blazers with various pops of colour and pattern and their Louis Vuitton man bags, Alan Foley and Krishen Samuel make a striking pair. We sat down to chat all things fashion and get their top tips on what it means to be fashionable, at any age.
1. Be comfortable; but experiment
Recently included on the SA ‘mature couture’ list of locals to watch, Foley believes his personal style has “come into its own” in recent years. Mature couture is a term that describes individuals who age gracefully yet are able to maintain a daring sense of style as they get older. “I never felt comfortable with what I wore until around the time I turned 40. It coincided with a trip to London just when colour was becoming a fashion trend for men and I decided to start experimenting with coloured trousers, bright socks, and interesting pocket squares. I didn’t realise how big the colour blocking trend would become here,” Foley recalls, “But I’m glad I took a chance on it.”
2. Combine innovation with what’s established
With the large number of young creatives in the fashion sphere locally, there is a new, fresh perspective on SA fashion and trends. “It’s a boost that is needed to invigorate the current space,” says Samuel, “The juxtaposition of established designers with younger designers who are prepared to mix things up makes it an exciting time for SA fashion.”
3. Love local
Samuel notes that although they support international brands that come to SA, “we love the focus on local design, local talent, local production, local fabrics, and local motifs.” According to the two, South Africa is still a relatively young fashion market and so learning from global trends can be helpful. This said though, they stress that we need embrace our unique style. “Our designers need to feel free to explore and experiment without having to emulate,” Foley says.
4. Be true to yourself
For most of what you wear, establish what you look good in and fine-tune it, Foley and Samuel advise. “I tend to be the more conservative and dressed-down of the pair,” adds Samuel, “But I still feel that I express my personality through what I wear and that it’s adventurous in the sense that not many people would dress the way I do. I’ve recently been experimenting with more pattern and texture and this has given a new edge to some of my outfits.” For Foley and Samuel, it’s often trial-and-error when choosing what to wear; but, they stress, “that’s where the fun lies!”