It’s nice to know that we’re not the only ones with a warm-weather obsession. Based out of the hottest continent on the planet, African label Lalesso share our ethos for an endless summer and after discovering their current collection, it looks like they’ve found it.
Started two years ago by Olivia Kennaway and Alice Heusser after an inspiring holiday to Lamu Island off the north coast of Kenya, Lalesso use soft flowing fabrics to create pieces that can withstand the heat. Vibrant prints adorn playsuits, maxi-dresses, kaftans, short-shorts, loose skirts, high-waisted pants and mini-dresses; making it easy to see why Lalesso are quickly gaining a reputation for their summer only collections.
When the duo aren’t travelling the world for inspiration, they can be found splitting their time between their studios in Cape Town and Kenya. Although with an alfresco studio overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean on Diani Beach, they don’t need to go far to get inspired.
Lalesso work closely with the Kenyan community by supporting the talent of local artisans to create an ethical, fair-trade operation. From the beaded bracelets on the swing tags and hand-carved coconut buttons, to the Masai beading and brass work within their current collection; Lalesso aren’t just producing beautiful garments, they’re creating fair employment. And when you’re talking about a country where over half of the population live below the poverty line, it’s heartening to know that our fashion choices can make a real difference to an entire community.
Alice is currently hanging out in Sydney, so we took the chance to catch up with her on Lalesso, her love of Africa and all things summer.
TIL: We love that fact that you only do summer collections. How did that come about?
Alice: Olivia and myself are both sun seekers and love colour, print and sunshine! The nature of the textiles we use lend themselves perfectly to summer so we decided to design the brand with an endless summer in mind.
TIL: What was your inspiration for your Spring Summer 2012 collection?
Alice: The S/S ’12 collection was inspired by a contemporary Africa. We looked to the digital and progressive era that the continent is entering into. It mirror’s the way we view Africa, a continent full of passion, romance, power and movement. The combination of old and new and the clashing of cultures were all inspiring aspects. It was basically a straightforward modern interpretation of Africa.
TIL: The shoot looked amazing – was it shot in Africa and who was your model?
Alice: We shot the latest campaign in a place called Arniston about 4 hours outside of Cape Town, South Africa. We had an amazing crew with us and shot for 3 days. Check out our behind the scene’s video. We shot with a Dutch girl called Annolot from Vision Models.
TIL: Where can we find the Lalesso studio?
Alice: We have a head office in Cape Town as well as one in Kenya. The Cape Town office is situated on the vibey and ever eclectic Long Street. In Kenya we have our office in the most idyllic place on earth, it’s a place called Diani Beach. We have also just opened the Lalesso Flagship store there.
TIL: Are there any secret holiday spots in Africa you can share with us?
Alice: Well Diani beach is definitely one of them, it’s heaven! Olivia loves Ponta de Barra in Mozambique.
TIL: Where’s your next summer vacay?
I am heading back to Cape Town in December. The most beautiful place in the world!
TIL: What’s your favourite summer drink?
Alice: We love a crisp white wine or dry rose.
TIL: Where can we get your label in Australia?
It is also available directly from myself at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0451 304 892.