For Women With Attitude
Cheryl Arthur is one of the founders, and design director, of the legendary Hip Hop and Afro Diva labels.
After almost 3 decades, she went solo with her Cheryl Arthur brand. The signature style is instantly recognisable by her unique print designs, and the quality and fit of a designer garment available nationally at affordable prices. Cheryl has won countless South African fashion awards, and seats to her fashion shows are rare and highly prized. She is a local legend, and active in the promotion of the SA Fashion Industry through both the Cape Town Fashion Council, and the South African Fashion Council.
"Find a mentor. You will learn so much, so fast. And don’t even think of starting your own label until you have done your time at the coalface. Otherwise, the cost of your failures is too high.."
on advice for young designers
Favourite fabrics to work with?
Pure wool. Digitally printed. And printed silk georgette.
Where do you find daily inspiration?
Colour, first. Millions of shades in the colour spectrum, all around us. Also, I am a fabric junkie, never happier than when I am designing a print, or shaping a garment.
BEST CAREER MOMENT SO FAR?
Kissing Kate Moss. Just kidding. That was great, but the best career moments keep on coming – every time I finish a show and step onto that catwalk, I feel it in my fingers, and my toes!!
A WORD WITH
What made you want to become a
I started Hip Hop Clothing with Kathy Page Wood 3 decades ago, and the brand grew to be a much-loved fashion statement in a local industry dominated by commercial giants at the time. I studied drama at Rhodes, but living in London during the punk and grunge fashion era gave me a love for style as a statement, a mark of individuality. Also, perhaps, those memories of my mother looking so chic in Chanel in the 60s.
What style are you best known for?
I design all my own prints, which are digitally printed, and unique to my brand. All of my fabrics are carefully designed and selected, to make a product that you can only fall in love with. The garments are 100% manufactured locally, as I am a totally committed to job-creation and growth of the local fashion industry.
WHAT ITEM OF APPAREL WOULD YOU NEVER GO ON HOLIDAY WITHOUT?
My wetsuit. Scuba diving is my first love. Otherwise it is my Comme des Garcons No. 2 perfume – but then I never go anywhere without that, holiday or otherwise.
WHAT’S THE NEXT BIG THING IN FASHION?
Mens fashion is showing phenomenal changes in the past few years…. From hair (everywhere), to colour and prints – not just menswear designers, it has filtered through to the a wide range of consumers. See GQ fashion. There is no stopping that tidal wave of change now.