A contemporary flat-roof Cape Georgian home in idyllic rural Constantia belonging to fashion designer Lindy Cohen and her music producer husband graces the pages of our Ideas issue, on shelf now.
We caught up with the creative force behind Continent Africa T’s and festival yoga range Xube to find out more about her businesses, her inspirations, and what home means to her…
Who makes up the Continent Africa T’s and Xube team? Although I do have a part-time assistant for admin and processing, and various production resources that I work with, I own and run Continent Africa on my own.
Xube is Shirley Fintz and myself. It’s a complete collaboration on the creative front. We both design and we both produce. She has a store on 6 Park Road and that’s where the majority of the sales take place.
What is the history of your company and ranges – how did the brands evolve? I used to produce Continent Africa tees as an offshoot of my own clothing label, TreePose when I was living in NYC. When I moved back to CapeTown in 2008, a friend encouraged and backed me to start producing the tees locally as part of his NGO. It took many attempts to arrive at the perfect quality and fit using local resources. Since then, the product is 100% local from fabric to finish, and the quality is impeccable. Aside from stocking various local game lodges, hotels and stores nationwide, I ship worldwide and export to Europe and USA.
Xube started in 2014 as a playful collaboration, just seeing where things led. Our first season we created a range of soft richly textured swimwear out of stretchy velvets and jerseys in beautifully flattering vintage inspired fits. Something different and something that we wanted for ourselves, that simply wasn’t around. That’s been the philosophy ever since. We keep moving into the vacuum to create something unique that inspires us to wear it daily- for a lifestyle that embraces beach/ festival /yoga.
Clearly the practise of yoga influences your Xube range. Because our lifestyle is immersed in yoga somehow it naturally informs the way we want to dress. On the product side, everything is stretchy, soft and comfortable. Like a second skin. The leggings and onesies have become a signature look for us, and are worn for yoga, dancing and living an active life but thankfully doesn’t look like gym gear. It’s designed for aesthetics with yoga as a bonus!
In what other ways does yoga shape your life and work? We are both yogis. Shirley is more active (she teaches at Gururamdas), I did my training in NYC, and practice but no longer teach. Yoga provides the grounding counterbalance to the giddiness that typifies our fashion lust, and provides the philosophy that keeps us trusting in the process and the flow.
Describe your home studio in 3 words. Colour. Play. Escape.
What is the benefit of having a home studio to work from? Being a working mom, my work hours are restricted to when I’m off-duty so it’s really about time. This way I can snatch a few hours of work or play in the studio when kids are out, occupied or asleep.
What is essential to you in a workspace? A room of my own. i.e. being left alone in my mess. I fear the idea of having to share space and considerately tidy up piles of fabric or have anyone see or disturb the semi-organised chaos.
DECO featured your beautiful home in our IDEAS issue. What does home mean to you? A place that fits the needs of all of us. Comfort and safety for the whole family. And an unrestricted creative outlet for me.
Do you find your fashion aesthetics cross over into your interior style? Yes definitely.
What inspires you when inspiration is lacking? Browsing fabric stores.
Best advice ever received? Everyone should meditate 20 minutes a day. Except those who are too busy. They should meditate for an hour.
Worst? When Xube started out some people were horrified that I would partner with another designer rather than someone with a complementary skill set. Yet its been one of the greatest gifts : we inspire each other continually.
Words to live by? Watch your thoughts, they become words, watch your words, they become actions.
Photography by Elsa Young
SHOP CONTINENT AFRICA
Visit the website continentafrica.org
For More Design Inspiration
In our Big Ideas Issue we turn to some of the leading decor talents for the lowdown on how to spruce up a space. We also head to coastal Vancouver for the trip of a lifetime and uncover how to use wallpapers & textiles in the home. However you choose to make your home a sanctuary, always follow this one rule – your space is your playground; have fun! Pick up your copy today and tell us what you think on Twitter @Elle_Deco using #BigIdeasIssue.