SISI — REIN­VENT­ING A TIME­LESS CLAS­SIC

The Star Early Edition - - VERVE -

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.

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