If you haven’t heard of Bianca Miles and Khaya Sibiya’s fashion label Punk & Ivy, you need to get with the programme. This Jozi duo is seriously cool and their mobile retail concept is even cooler. Their clothing is best described as African street wear meets urban tailoring and is sold out of their customised Punk & Ivy mobile boutique called… wait for it… the Punk & Ivy Motique.
We chatted to the design duo to find out what’s happening now and next. So, without further ado, meet Khaya and Bianca. He is one of the best-dressed men in Jozi (no really, he won GQ Best Dressed in 2012), she is an ice-cream addict, and together the husband-and-wife duo have brought a print-rich and exciting concept to SA.
Bianca, where was the Punk & Ivy idea born?
In July last year we were sitting on a sidewalk in Bangkok, amazed by the effortless mobility the city has adopted. It runs beyond the 9-5 routine and we thought it would make perfect sense for Mzansi. We took the principle and applied it to what both of us are champions of: fashion, styling, consulting and creating bespoke solutions for all our clients. The rest was planning and lots of fundraising, and thankfully it’s working out.
How would you describe your design aesthetic?
Perfectly tailored for He and She, androgynous and authentically South African.
A/W 2013 Lookbook
The inspiration for our winter 2013 collection was taken from the speed with which young minds lose their sense of identity, given the easy commerce and borderless internet. We want to create a snapshot of what is uniquely African right now, as interpreted by our own sensibilities and by using local fabrics, local tailors, bold colours and patterns – everything we love and appreciate.
Dates to diarise?
July, when the next motique sale will be held in Jozi.
When is Punk & Ivy coming to Cape Town?
This summer. We’re aiming for October, provided Helen Zille accepts our Park & Trade application, that is! We hope to be there well into the silly season.
And the online shop?
www.punkandivy.com is launching in July too! We will have all the amazing products and our latest collections ready to ship to your door.
Khaya, what’s on your radar this year?
Fusing our fashion stories with music. I am busy creating a mixtape in collaboration with Tiago from ex 340ml. It’s a tribute to men’s fashion and will be available for download on the Punk & Ivy website in July. Apart from that, the Jozi music scene is popping. There’s Lesilo Rula, a dark, edgy music collaboration with artist and gallery owner Murray Turpin, as well as my boys Boy$InBuck$ which is a group collaboration by some of Jozi’s finest creatives, also dropping this summer.
Anything we don’t know about you that we should know?
We’re born seven days apart, got engaged in Bangkok in June 2012 and Bianca had six months to learn Zulu before our wedding.
The concept of fashion on the move made perfect sense because, just like any other commercial industry, everything evolves. Retail experiences need to evolve too and we challenge this principle with the idea that anyone living in a city should have better access to purchase options. It’s all about the person and their allocation of time to do what they want, when they want.
What do you do in your downtime?
There is no downtime. This is a full-time project. Apart from the bespoke garment-making, we offer other services, which Khaya manages full-time such as styling, creative direction for various urban brands from across Africa and working with other creatives to deliver their image solutions.
Kitchener’s Carvery & Pub in Braamfontein and Great Dane in Braamfontein where you get amazing hot dogs at 3am, and Kalashnikovv Gallery on Juta Street in Braamfontein for the superb weekly art exhibition (and free wine) that offers fresh, amazing work to investing and collect over time.
On Bianca’s hotlist:
The Punk & Ivy Adult Onesie that we started working on just this weekend after he Jozi chill inspired us to create a signature fashion piece to sleep in.
Punk & Ivy is set to hit the road in their 9,3m left-hand drive motique (as soon as they can crack that) and will map their route across the provinces on www.punkandivy.com, their Facebook page (PunkAndIvyStyleMotique) and Twitter (@bianca_miles). Be sure to follow them for updates, info on sales and where they’ll be popping up next.
Photographs: Punk & Ivy, Justin McGee and Cindy Taylor