Hello Rockmantic People,
something totally different is happening at Maiden-Art boutique, this summer!
I'm hosting a wonderful and colorful pop up shop by South African designers , a great and exciting new collaboration between Maiden-Art jewelry and Urban Noun, a place for promoting the individual artist.
Urban Noun supports the art of artisans labour, love and passion and brings back to life the need for creation on a personal level. It intends to expand beyond the confines of retail and become a stepping stone for artists to spread their reach between both Europe and South Africa.
I'm really excited to present you, my interview with Chantelle, the owner and chief visionary officer behind Urban Noun.
1)When & why did you start Urban Noun?
Urban Noun became a concept about 2 years ago when I realised that I wanted to showcase the Modern South African Artisan to the world. South African art, decor and Jewellery is still generalised or thought to be very African in its style i.e wild animal prints and paintings and traditional African art. I feel our artists, although influenced by our African culture and beautiful wildlife, have such an unusual and diverse modern identity to show the world.
This year the dream of being able to showcase South African artisans to a European market finally became a reality.
2) Tell me a little more about your concept, brand and store and your favorite designs.
Urban Noun came about because I realised I had the opportunity to be able to represent South African Artisans overseas for so many that couldn’t. The South African economy has its challenges, something as simple as our postal service is often unreliable and for small business owners and artisans such as myself, these small hurdles become large obstacles when trying to ship items overseas due to expensive pricing, unreliable delivery and often slow delivery.
Urban Noun is there for the individual artisan and the aim is to market theses individuals to a worldwide market. By marketing them the hope is to grow the artisan's community back in South Africa which in turn I hope will help in the growth of our art economy and community as a whole. The Urban Noun style is simple and modern with a Scandinavian influence. I think it needs to be so it doesn’t distract from the individual styles of each stockist.
3) Where did you study and which is your background?
Just after school I studied photography and then went on to do short courses in Desktop Publishing with Damelin College and Copywriting with AAA School of Advertising. However, my main line of studies was with IDI (Interactive Design Institute) through the University of Hertfordshire where I received my Honours in Graphic Design.
My background includes Design, Website development, marketing and administration. I’ve been involved with start businesses for over 7 years now. I have my own design company that I freelance for called Von.P Designs and I'm partners in a software development company called Bluntt with my Brothers. I also run Creative Hour which is one of Urban Nouns suppliers with my mum.
4) How would you describe your style?
My style is definitely influenced by modernism. It’s clean, simple and uncluttered.
5) Would you like to design collection for an important brand? if so which one?
I would love to be able to design for companies such as Penguin Publishing House - I have an insane love for books and cover designs. Woolworths back in South Africa for me is a leading brand in terms of design and environmentally consciousness forward thinking, I love their ethos of working towards a bigger picture and better future. Then for every graphic designer, I think Pentagram is on top of the list of companies to work in terms of knowledge and diversity in clientele.
6) Any celebrities wearing your designs?
Some of your stockists have had fanatic achievements. https://www.facebook.com/MariaMagdalenaAtelier/ has had exhibitions in New York, been awarded:
2009 - Fashion Animation Prize
2010 - SABS Design Achiever
2010 - Cum Laude BTech Graphic Design
2015 - Design Indaba Emerging Creative
https://www.facebook.com/SparrowSociety/ was awarded Elizabeth Arden Make a Visible Difference 2015 "Community Hero Award” and rolled out a nationwide advertising campaign in conjunction with Elizabeth Arden.
7) Where do you sell your collections mostly?
Cape Town South Africa
Newly opened Europe shops are Berlin & Italy
8) How do you see your business in future?
Hopefully strongly rooted in the European community. The hope then is to be able to take European Artisans to South Africa but also to be able to include artisans from all over the world under the Urban Noun umbrella and connect artisans from all over the world to different markets worldwide.
Come and discover the beautiful world of South African Designers at Maiden-Art Boutique !
See you soon,