#FreshInterview: Maila Koutoure
Ever since she launched herself in Namibia 4 years ago, business has been growing steadily for Maila Kalipi. She’s been busy developing herself as a fashion model, fashion designer, make up and nail artist, a stylist and an event organiser.
The Namibian woman of all trades creative, talked to us about her passions, fashion and plans for the future.
Fresh: Define fashion?
Maila: Fashion is a standard of living by which each individual lives by.
Fresh: How did you decide to become a fashion designer?
Maila: Fashion chose me, and I loved every moment of it. As much as I tried to ignore it growing up, I just couldn’t help but explore with fashion as it was all around me. I started fiddling with my mother’s old sowing machine and before I know it, I was making clothes and bedding.
Fresh: What is your favourite part about being a fashion designer?
Maila: The freedom I have to express myself through my clothing. I can literally wake up in the morning and make myself whatever it is that I would want to wear, so if it’s raining and I perhaps don’t have a raincoat, I can apply myself to making one and have it exactly the way I want it to be.
Fresh: How would you describe your personal style?
Maila: I would describe my style as ‘The epitome of a chic, classy and sophisticated independent woman’.
Fresh: Do you remember when you first became aware of fashion?
Maila: At the age of 6, I became aware of fashion as I would always rip and alter my dolls cloths and hand stitched it back together to create something new and different. I also then realised that I wasn’t always satisfied with the clothes my parents bought from the shop. After one wear, I usually opted to cutting sleeves off of tops or even cropping my pants, you can imagine the stress my parents had, so they hid my new clothes and I vamped my old.
Fresh: Who are your style icons, one living and one dead?
Maila: Alexander mc queen, Andre Leon Tally, Vivienne Westwood and Karl Lagerfeld
Fresh: Art is often an inspiration point, whose work is resonating with you right now?
Maila: The works of HTW, Heel the world, a shoe line from Ghana have taken my interest and inspired me to be different.
Fresh: What are your plans for the future?
Maila: My plan for the future is have Maila Kouture in every industry in the entertainment world.
Fresh: What’s your guilty pleasure?
Maila: Fruit, especially kiwi and grapes
Fresh: What is your oldest, most treasured piece of clothing?
Maila: My vintage denim dress which I got from my mom.
Fresh: Describe Maila at 15. What did you like to do?
Maila: Maila at 15 is full of life. I had so much energy at that time which I put into experimenting in a lot of sports such as water polo, hockey and soccer. Then I was so bubbly and adventurous with a deep connection to wanting to share love to everyone and everything. Bubbly and niave.
Fresh: Tell us a bit about your brand, Maila Kouture
Maila: Maila Kouture is a proud Namibian Fashion and Lifestyle brand that delivers all over Africa with a detailed, affordable and accessible product and service. We target a wide range of youth from Socialites to the independent working class, dressing them to stand out and not blend in. What sets the brand apart is that we have a unique eye for detail and style, and the ability to find and tailor a style and service for each client hat is chic, classy and sophisticated.
Fresh: How can someone make a basic stand stand out from the crowd?
Maila: By as simple as wearing your confidence along with your outfit.
Fresh: What inspires you when you are creating your designs?
Maila: What inspires me is my will to become the best and true form of myself, so my inspiration mainly comes from me searching the true depths of me and trying to translate that to the world.
Fresh: What skills according to you are necessary for a successful fashion designer?
Maila: Patience, confidence, honesty and love.
Fresh: Do you have a mantra or a phrase that you live by?
Maila: No, I just take life for what it is.
Fresh: So what’s your hidden talent?
Maila: I am yet to discover my hidden talent as all the ones I have, I know of and are exposed.
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