Marie Claire (South Africa) - - FEATURE -

Grow­ing up in the south of Hol­land in Eind­hoven, to­day known as the de­sign city of the Nether­lands, I was sur­rounded by a cul­ture of beauty. Study­ing in Am­s­ter­dam was a great eye-opener, be­cause the city is rich in fashion, art and fun. Be­ing a woman, I love the fact that fashion is an ex­pres­sion of cre­ativ­ity, avail­able to every­one. It’s full of sur­prises – the colours, the fab­rics and the de­signs. Since I was lit­tle, I’ve loved clothes and dress­ing up like a princess. That never changed, luck­ily enough, and work­ing with a brand like Oilily was a nat­u­ral pro­gres­sion. I loved its bright colours, quirk­i­ness and orig­i­nal de­signs, and when there was an op­por­tu­nity for me to bring it to Africa I just jumped right in. An old friend told me he couldn’t have thought of a bet­ter person to bring it here, be­cause when­ever he saw Oilily items, they re­minded him of me, which is such a huge com­pli­ment. I hope the brand will stay unique and orig­i­nal as it has been for the last 50 years, and I hope it’ll spread like an inkblot over the African con­ti­nent. It works so well in South Africa, in terms of bright colours and cheer­ful de­signs – it truly fits a rain­bow na­tion. Oilily has even in­spired me to live bet­ter; I’ve never loved work­ing as much as I do now – in fashion and in the most beau­ti­ful coun­try. It couldn’t be bet­ter than this. I re­ally en­joy show­ing the brand to peo­ple in the fashion busi­ness as it some­how al­ways makes them happy. It’s al­most like open­ing a magic box – the range goes from hand­bags to cos­metic purses, beau­ti­ful silk and woollen shawls, even cos­met­ics. There is some­thing for every­one. I love read­ing, run­ning on the beach, trav­el­ling, hav­ing long lunches with friends, un­pack­ing Oilily sam­ples from the lat­est col­lec­tion, and spend­ing qual­ity time with my son and my hus­band. I love clothes that are dif­fer­ent, that have qual­ity and orig­i­nal­ity. I love skirts and dresses and I don’t re­ally fol­low what’s ‘in’ at any par­tic­u­lar mo­ment. I have skirts from Dries Van Noten that I bought more than 10 years ago and I’m still wear­ing them be­cause they’re beau­ti­ful. I love black, be­cause it’s al­ways easy, but at the same time I have very colour­ful pieces. I never get tired of beau­ti­ful cloth­ing. Work­ing with this brand has made me re­alise many things about my­self, how im­pul­sive and in­quis­i­tive I can be, but with Oilily, which has quirk­i­ness and an el­e­ment of sur­prise, I know it’s a suit­able match! I en­joy life with it and I look

for­ward to grow­ing with it.

Clock­wise from top Renate Brouwers; scenes from Oilily ad cam­paigns; sig­na­ture items from the colour­ful range.

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