SISI — REINVENTING A TIMELESS CLASSIC
THE WHITE shirt is a staple for any wardrobe. Recognising this essential – and the many ways it can be worn – new fashion label SiSi has just launched an all-white shirt capsule collection. The brainchild of designer Cynthia Allie and style maverick Yasmin Furmie, SiSi may be the new kid on the block but it’s all about the timeless classics. We caught up with the pair. How did SiSi come about?
Yasmin Furmie: We thought about it a long time ago and said we must do something together because Cynthia and I have known each other for a long time. She’s a designer and we said we have to do something.
Cynthia Allie: We were going to do it in 2015 towards December and then it was too late. Then we thought: “Let’s do it in 2016.” And it was almost too late again. Where did the SiSi name come from?
CA: I have no idea where it started but SiSi is what we call each other. It’s no longer Yas or Cynthia, it became “Sisi this” and “Sisi that.”
YF: Every morning we send each other messages and it would be: “Top of the morning to you, Sisi.”
CA: We’ve been friends a very long time – before the kids were born.
YF: So Sisi is a very good reflection of who we are as sisterfriends. Why did you decide to debut the brand with the white shirt?
YF: Well, I can tell you about Cynthia. She is the epitome of the white-shirt-wearing woman. I wear white shirts but I mix them up with a whole lot of things. Cynthia is literally known for her white shirts. You know when you look around and you think everyone does everything else and they include a white shirt in their collections. So we thought: this would be what our signature is.
CA: I probably wear a white shirt every single day of my life. Yasmin also has a whole lot of beautiful white shirts. So we thought: we have this in common – besides the fashion bit – so let’s do this together.
Whenever we have white shirts on, people will say ‘Where do you get your shirts from?’ That’s what women want: deconstructed white shirts. Not just completely tailored. The shirts you designed vary in styles that cater to the young and older woman.
CA: Yes! Because we both have young daughters, we had to accommodate them, people our age and people in between.
YF: Both Cynthia and I like fairly loose shapes, and that loose shape can work well on somebody very young and someone much older as well. We wanted to keep everything much funkier than just that classic style. Sometimes white shirts can be very boring, so we though we’d do something that stands out a bit. What’s next for SiSi?
YF: I think we will stick with white shirts in their various forms and guises. As seasons go, we may change shapes and styles because there’s so much to do. What we want to do that’s different is keep with neutral colours – especially white. Maybe we’ll bring in a small collection of black or charcoal or taupe, but no prints. It’s going to be a very clean slate.
CA: We have found there is a demand for men’s shirts, so we might look at that as well.
In addition to premièring this label, SiSi tasked attendees of their launch with bringing sanitary towels as a part of a drive for the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation. The foundation’s project manager, Natasha Allie, said: “Mbizana (in the Eastern Cape) is where Oliver Tambo was born. This drive is a way to help the community. SiSi is an initiative by women for women, and this is an opportunity to help other young women in need.”
Keep up with SiSi via Facebook.
An all-white shirt capsule collection by Sisi.
The white shirt remains an all-time favourite and should be in every fashion forward person’s wardrobe.
SiSi founders Cynthia Allie and style maverick Yasmin Furmie.