Leon Haasbroek is well known for being the other half of Infinite PR, but this year he’s headed in a new direction by breaking convention and working with mainly fashion brands. Going into fashion PR must be challenging especially when looking at the economic climate in our country but he’s excited to have his passion work for him, giving us an inside look into his work within the industry.
South Africa has a distinct fashion culture and specific trends which society has embraced. Although the industry strives to move forward, there are quite a few misconceptions when consumers look at what is presented on the runway and Leon believes that South Africa still has a way to go when it comes to understanding fashion. “I find that many consumers see what designers put on the Runway and hate it, instead of selecting items from the look and pairing with their own pieces.”
The expressive element of fashion is what our society must embrace. Fashion brands strive to not only make sales but to express their unique flair and to overcome certain misconceptions as it tells its narrative. “I love the diversity of fashion trends in SA, the culture is so bold and strong.” says Leon, but we have to remember that “STYLE needs to be developed more than the fashion culture, once styling/editing has been developed, fashion will merely fall into place.”
Getting dressed is like putting a presentation together. There are critical aspects that cannot be left out, details are key and being bold and captivating grips your audience leaving them with a memorable impression of you. Now, the trick is how knowing what to put where. “I think the public sees “Fashion People” as a group of judgemental “experts” that act like the fashion police. Which is not the case, just like a doctor spends his/her time perfecting their art in remedying our illnesses, so do Fashion Designers and Fashion Editors spend the time to perfect their art in putting together single items to complete a look.”
Fashion doesn’t only restrict itself to textiles and tailored garments, to Leon it represents many different aspects of consumer culture. “When consumers prefer a certain colour, one would find that it was influenced in a trend process where fashion experts decide what colour pallets would trickle down into the consumers’ hands.”
Making a mark in an industry such as requires experience and flair which Leon is definitely not short of. He has been working with a few big names including JJ Schoeman, Soviet Denim, Inception Diamonds and Banana Moon SA. “I think I would fancy myself working with more Fashion Designers and even working alongside the likes of Kelly Cutrone (One of my absolute Idols in life).
It’s not all hard work behind the scenes as this industry is quite dynamic. We have the absolute pleasure to announce that Leon has recently been named the brand ambassador for Babylon Bar, representing this brand in Johannesburg and Cape Town, but that’s not all; “Very few people know, but I have been cast as a member of a production where we look for Africa’s top talent and give them a platform to showcase their skills to the correct people within the market. I have been cast as the “Mentor” to the emerging designers, where I help guide them through the design process, similar to what Tim Gunn does on Project Runway.”
Don’t let a pretty face fool you, Leon means business and there is a lot we don’t know, and we’ll uncover just as much, as we follow Leon on his new and exciting journey. You can also follow him on Twitter and Instagram @ljhpr