Meet another incredible talent at the Design Indaba Emerging Creatives Expo!
GISELE HUMAN [WAIF]
“WAIF is a jewellery label with a distinct affinity for utter simplicity.”
Q: Why jewellery? How did it all begin for you?
A: I wound up making jewellery and accessories in a roundabout way. I studied English and Film at UCT, worked in advertising as a copywriter for 5 years which was great, but found that the visual side of me wasn’t being satisfied. I also wanted to run around sourcing materials, find creative solutions to things, be challenged, and call all the shots. My mother is a jewellery designer so I’ve always known my way around the tools of the trade, but last year I decided to build a brand and start a company that I could build up and call my own. Jewellery isn’t the end goal for me – I aim to expand.
Q: Your designs are beautifully simplistic, where do you draw inspiration from?
A: The barrette hair piece was a starting point, I was inspired by something I’d been given at a very young age. I noticed that hair pieces weren’t being made locally, and I wanted to create something that nobody else was making. I’ve always been fond of the elegance with which french women dress, and the hair pin and clip are both classically French. The shapes are organic and are inspired by nature, pebbles, succulents, seed pods, the shapes of ears, body parts, but also Matisse, Picasso, Ellsworth Kelly. I like playing with negative space, texture and in the future, I’d like to master enameling so that I can introduce some colour.
Q: You were part of the SAMW16, tell us a bit about the experience and what you took away from it.
A: I’ve always had this awful preconceived notion that the fashion industry was superficial and sleezy, but I’ve found it to be the opposite. The people who create fashion, who design in, shoot it, style it, model it, these people are some of the best people I’ve ever met. There’s an amazing culture of supporting each other, sharing information, buying local only. Models are intelligent, stylists have an important role to play, photographers aren’t sleeve bags, designers celebrate other designers’ success. My experience of SAMW was amazing. I produced a small collection of earrings for the AKJP show and a collection of conceptual face plates for BLANC, both were well received, I’ve had some great press from it, so I’m glad I did it.
Find out more about Gisele and her work on Instagram: @waif_things.