BEHOLD! This here a piece might be a tad lengthier than I have written thus far. Reasons varying from extreme levels of gratification, pretexts to rival sad intents, accidents and promises not honoured by other publications. Plus, I live for Suzaan Heyns’s mastery too much to cram my views and opinions about her together with instant reportage all over the net. Anywho, here goes the tale of how I strutted with the designer extraordinaire on her journey through these doors of perception … well, sort of.

mj and stuff suzaan heyns

I saw Suzaan standing gloriously towering most almost everyone, as we were standing outside puffing clouds off long thin cigarettes on the day of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Joburg 2013’s media launch. That’s when I walked up to her and threw a random Hi-5 -because her shows are really the reasons I enjoy fashion weeks so damn much. The thing is even if the pomp-and-ceremony was to be removed in her presentations, she would still rank paramount as an innovative, conceptual artist who makes sensible clothing, FACT.  Back to it, I tried squeezing secrets of the coming show’s promise and girl was just not budging. An hour later, she and Moira Jensen – her super awesome Business Manager, were still not trying to entertain my lousy begs. Instead, I was granted an invitation to probe further in their Northcliff based studio. I was not about to pass this one


A week later, dates were set, times confirmed and upon my arrival at the studio which looks nothing like it did in my head –the whole team works there, the gals and I took to sitting down at once and got to chatting. Very chilled and casual, I fired questions about the involvement of AMORIM because the Portugal based cork manufacturer was well hinted in the press release. I had a hunch that cork leather was to be very sound in this collection, because, cu’mon it’s Suzaan Heyns and leather is her best friend. After confirming that indeed AMORIM’s recently developed an eco friendly and oh so durable cork leather was to be the centre of this novel line, her inspiration rounded everything up.


It all started with Suzaan’s recent trip to Zanzibar’s Stone Town. She speaks with a very sexy fashioniny raspy tone about many a moment when whilst minding her own business and trying to do the holiday thing, getting lost in a maze and stuff, her curious nature seemed fixated on an image of a beautifully veiled woman minding her own beeswax behind an orient stencil like partition which formed fine-looking shadows on her skin. She said to have witnessed such beauties at many times of the day when the shadows gradually re-shaped, which then came through in her Burka style choice of hair and the MAC make-up as applied on models in the show. Bless the heart of Michelle-Lee Collins.


On the day of the show, all was good to go and I had this huge secret I couldn’t wait to share as soon as the first garment went on. I took a few backstage shots and had a young chat with Suzaan who at this point seemed very chilled and ready to show off her designs. Before I knew it, it was 5 before the show and it hit me that I did not have my blackberry with me. As I was freaking out because I wanted to brag-Tweet throughout the show, by the time light went down, I leaned into Felicity Spies’ shoulder and shared my mobile phone drama and she whispered (with her British accent) that I should just take it all in and take pleasure in the show like an onlooker –which I did. Gentle music composed by Audio Militia gave clear directions in its narrative lyrics, seemingly GPSing models through multi-dimensional doors frames erected on the runway.

Suzaan Heyns cork leather details MJ AND STUFF

The collection everything expected from Suzzan Heyns and so much more. Perfect tailoring with strategic folds and fabrics which had me inspired for days.  A total of 60 pieces, styled into 26 silhouettes reminiscent of the hip 1970s. This is by far the widest shades of colour ever spotted in Suzaan’s shows. A total of Ten, cleverly matched to give an understandable 3D effect. Her usage of cork leather is all kinds of appealing, featuring hard in almost every outfit and stunning geo-style accessories. She also included literal elements of relic type materials like door knobs used as neck pieces and belt buckles. Suzaan Heys also made her own shoes for the collection out of this appealing fabric. Sadly, this collection did not have any pieces for men, but when has that EVER stopped me from anything. I simply must get myself one rad cork leather item and parade through doors of perception.




  1. I love how Suzaan’s shows always have a concept which is understandable and I truly think she is setting a trend of South-African designers collaborating with other companies out of the creative industry. I remember she also did a show where she collaborated with a cement company. I mean like, who would think of working with a cement company, as a fashion designer???? She is amazing!!!! One of the local designers I look up to.

  2. Pingback: FROM SUZAAN TO WOMEN FOLK! | mjandstuff

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