The arts of fashion and interior design are intricately and dynamically intertwined, with designers often citing catwalk trends as inspiration for interiors and vice versa. With this in mind, DECO spent the afternoon with Simon Pocock from Simon Deporres.
Simon Deporres is a fashion label shared by Simon Pocock, Mpilo Deporres Ngcukana and Jesse Lange. With Simon, DECO discussed everything from Bill Cunningham’s distinctive blue jacket and retail design to the brilliance of African resourcefulness and the power of fashion as a story telling tool; we think you’ll be as impressed as we are.
Striking a balance between daily function and tailored fit, we strive to create garments of the highest quality and purpose. – Simon Deporres
Sum up your signature aesthetic for us?
Never plain, always simple.
Tell us about the importance of style…
Style defines who you are or how you are feeling, without saying a word. Clothing tells your story; that’s why I love it so much.
How does your fashion sense translate in the design of your shop?
We have kept things as simple as possible, using a neutral palette with pops of heavy texture and colour. The design is dynamic; having very few fixed fittings so that the store can adapt to suit our specific needs at any given time. Practically speaking, we cut the space in half to accommodate a working studio at the back, and retail facing upfront.
What is the most important thing to consider with shop design?
Customer convenience. People can be shy when spaces and products are presented in an austere manner. You need to make them feel welcome and comfortable enough to interact with your product and brand ethos. Don’t cramp the space either; there’s an art to balancing minimalism with the perfect amount of merchandising.
Tell us about Bill Cunningham’s influence?
Haha Bill is a boss! I’ve always loved his classic blue jacket and the fact that he rides a bicycle everywhere. I would love to spend a day with him and follow his obsessive observation skills.
What do you dislike most about the design industry?
The short-sightedness of profit margins that dictate the intentional design of things that don’t last.
What is Africa’s role in the fashion world at the moment?
Traditional African resources are being remixed, becomingly increasingly globally covetable and relevant. We are forging our own paths; harnessing the potential of our raw materials, colours, textures and unique urban culture, and people are taking notice of this.
What local young fashion designer is on your radar?
What are some of the key influence(r)s that have shaped your inimitable style?
Minimalism: Although easier said than done, I’m a firm believer in simplicity; stripping away all unnecessary elements until reaching the tipping point. To this effect, the Japanese and Scandinavian mindset resonates with me.
Brands that stand by quality and longevity (not chasing trends). The idea that products should serve as many practical roles as possible; achieving as much as possible with as little as possible. This is the essence of African resourcefulness. Why shouldn’t my down jacket keep me warm while I’m traversing the mountain, and then be equally functional and stylish enough to wear to dinner.
Photography by ‘The Seppis.
FIND OUT MORE:
Keen to find out more about these chaps?
Visit Simon, Mpilo and Jesse at their store, Superior Goods in Cape Town.