Designer Terrence Bray has an impressive resumé. He dresses Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene of Monaco, has spent time with Karl Lagerfeld in his Parisian studio, and has graced multiple magazines and television shows with his distinctive pieces. He chatted to Life & Style as he prepares to launch his online retail range.
Terrence Bray is a local designer who has developed a globally competitive fashion business.
From the age of 12 he would look in on his aunt’s haberdashery in Johannesburg, marvelling at how scraps of fabric were transformed into something beautiful. He was raised in a creative household as both his mother and father were artistic, and Terrence believes that design was his destiny.
After completing his fashion and design studies at the Durban University of Technology, he spent just two years with another of Durban’s biggest fashion exports, Amanda Laird Cherry, before launching his own label.
His dedication to sophisticated cuts and quality fabrics for men and women soon garnered a following of both private clients and fashion media.
Apart from dedication to his business, Terrence has the desire to share his skills, placing education high on his list of priorities. Over the years he’s lectured to creative design students at his alma mater, as well as contributing to the upliftment of local crafters.
“There’s an enormous need for education,” he adds, although he has more recently taken a step back to focus on his highly anticipated online retail store.
“We’re focusing on our online presence for now, where we’ll be launching our Diffusion range with a strong brand aesthetic, as well as a ready-to-wear range using natural fibres focusing largely on linen.”
As far as career highlights go, Terrence is spoilt for choice. “Most of my bridal gowns have been special,” he muses. His time with Karl Lagerfeld is an obvious choice, where the two spent a whirlwind day together on a photoshoot in 2011, and touring the design legend’s Paris studio while Terrence was overseas preparing for the wedding of Princess Charlene and Prince Albert of Monaco.
On Princess Charlene…
“We have an ongoing relationship – I dressed her even before the wedding took place, as we knew each other before (both of them resided in Durban) but we’ve been doing more work together since then. Many of the designs I’ve done for her have been specific to her journey, including dressing her for her first official trip with Prince Albert.”
On spring trends…
Terrence says that no single trend transcends having a sense of style, but there are a few key themes that will gain traction in the next season.
– Sustainability is massive; having an awareness of locally produced garments will become even more important, re-interpreting and upcycling of items will result in an eclectic mix, and there will definitely be a considered financial and economic element to factor in.
– Functional fashion or ‘uniform’ dressing is growing, with a focus on freedom of movement and volume, allowing clothing to have a freer shape. We’ll see fabrics being manipulated in interesting ways.
– Gender neutrality is a real cultural movement, which is showing itself in the fashion industry. It can be subtle, but you’ll start seeing shapes to suit all bodies.
– Bold colour blocking will remain a strong trend.
– Look for soft, feminine items that are given an edge, like an added pair of sneakers.