Editor’s Pick Johani Louw

This emerging designer’s first experience with the fashion industry came at a very young age. “When I saw my first issue of Australian Vogue I remember getting so excited about the editorials and the magic created in an image through clothing, and from that moment I religiously kept up with all the major fashion weeks,” revealed Johani Louw, a graduating designer. Louw has combined this love of fashion with her own personal values to create a thought-provoking graduate collection. “One of the most valuable things I learnt during my time at university was the importance of following my gut instinct and focusing on ideas and issues that I am passionate about,” declared Louw. “Focusing on ideas or issues of which I am familiar with has allowed me to extend my creative capabilities in terms of how far I can push myself to convey a message.”

Louw’s collection, Salient, was built from 10 pieces and explored issues of equality. “Salient works to expose patriarchal ideals of the feminine and subvert them, so as to make the feminine loud, unapologetic,” said the designer proudly. “The collection uses excessive colours, textures and shapes which build upon and expose different parts of the female body. This is to create conversation around what defines the feminine, and how this idea differs between the male gaze and the gaze and understanding of women.” Louw is inspired by the social and political issues she sees around her, as well as other designers who share her visual aesthetic. “The designers I am most influenced and inspired by would have to be Alessandro Michele and Molly Goddard, with both of them working fearlessly with colour, texture and print.”

As Louw looks to expand her label, she expressed to Apparel Magazine her commitment to sticking to her values throughout her career. “I don’t want to build something for the sake of making the most money in the world, but rather so as to enhance the experiences of being an expressive human being in our society.”