MARIANNE FASSLER LEOPARD FROCK

Marianne Fassler is regarded as one of South Africa’s first ladies in fashion. She credits the country itself as the driving force behind her successful career, which spans more than three decades. ‘I always encourage potential designers to start in their own community, to know the service providers,’ she says. Fassler is an active member of the Ubuntu at Work community, a social enterprise supplying ethically and sustainably produced products. Although she is ‘against co-operatives selling themselves on the strength of “upliftment”, or sympathy for the unemployed’, her fundamental values lie in ethical business practice.

MARIANNE FASSLER LEOPARD FROCK Photo Gallery



Through her Leopard Frock range, she provides stable employment for a highly skilled workforce as well as mentorship to aspiring designers. Fassler’s signature use of fabric continually acknowledges the country’s cultural heritage and pushes the boundaries of fashion design. ‘I have always recycled fabrics, allowing my scraps to inform the shape and texture of my garments,’ she notes. Fascinated by the way people engineer wearable art using waste, she harnesses skills unknown to the mainstream for her runway collections.

She once worked with a group of Zulu craftsmen who manufactured shoes for traditional ceremonies and weddings. Together, they created beautiful sandals using car tyres and animal hides. Her hopes for 2015? ‘To continue being relevant and active in the South African clothing industry. This includes providing employment to all the great people who work for me.’

MARIANNE FASSLER LEOPARD FROCK

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