LISOF Alumni LUMIN-ating the way

“LUMIN is a contemporary South African women’s wear brand that defines its aesthetic by capturing the presence of light and the cover of darkness, and the way shadows bend over surfaces and sunlight illuminates dark corners. Easy-to-wear and urban, LUMIN’s design philosophy embodies varying degrees of soft and hard, light and dark, symmetry and asymmetry.”


Design duo, James Barrett-Poulsen and Amy Liu of LUMIN are LISOF ALUMNI and we are proud to be supporting them tonight at the Lufthansa #1stBestCollections at SA Fashion Week. Here is an insight into their connection with their brand and LISOF:

Amy and James

When did you realize that fashion was the career for you and why LISOF?

James: I studied a marketing degree at UJ and then worked for a while. But I realised I was meant to do something more creative. I’ve always loved fashion and decided to follow my dream. I chose LISOF because I knew it was the best place to study fashion design.

Amy: I grew up loving fashion and knew I wanted to study it from a young age. I came to LISOF from Port Elizabeth after I matriculated.

When did you and Amy graduate from LISOF?

We graduated in 2012, and then Amy did her Honours in 2013.

Speaking of LISOF, what competitive advantage did studying at an institution like LISOF give you over other players in the fashion industry?

Studying at LISOF is really a privilege. We feel that it gives you such a great foundation when entering the fashion industry. At college we had amazing lecturers with valuable industry experience. This knowledge gave us an edge over the competition.

LISOF is also so well known and recognised, so when you speak to employers and other people in the industry they know immediately the level of skill you have if you tell them you studied at LISOF.

And another great benefit of studying at LISOF is the alumni network that you become part of. Some many ex-LISOFians are in all corners of the industry, so it can be really useful if you need references or connections to help with work and that sort of thing.

What is your artistic influence when creating your garments?

Our artistic influences can come from many different places; listening to a piece of music, from buildings or patterns or from other design areas like jewellery or graphic design.

What is the overall aesthetic of your brand and who does it represent?

We look to Eastern culture for inspiration – minimal silhouettes. We love a monochrome palette and sometimes use geometric prints. Ultimately we’re about using simplicity to create a bold, interesting look. Our style would be representative of a creative mind who appreciates an understated kind of style but wants to still look interesting and unique.

What advice do you have for up and coming fashion designers on how to best survive the fashion industry?

If you’re wanting to start a label, we’d have to say that finding a partner to work with, that you get on with and who can challenge you would be a great benefit. Getting in to fashion is a lot of hard work, and trying to manage the creative side as well as the business side can end up being too much for one person. So find someone who shares the same passion as you, you’ll each have different responsibilities, but you’ll be able to share the workload and work with your strengths.


Good Luck to James and Amy for their showing tonight at the SA Fashion Week Lufthansa #1stBestCollections happening tonight at Hyde Park, #SAFWSS16.

Follow LUMIN on their social pages here:


Available online and in stores from: A1, Nova Culture and Style Fly

And don’t forget to follow me, Seipati as I take over the LISOF INSTAGRAM and TWITTER pages along with fellow 3rd year Fashion Media student, Zingaphi.

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