To celebrate Valentines Day this month, I’m holding a giveaway courtesy of Catrice Cosmetics. All you need to do to win a divine gift bag with some fantastic goodies, is send in 2 photos of yourself – before and after makeup!
1. The Rose. Roses are ancient symbols of love and beauty. The red rose was also adopted as a symbol of the blood of the Christian martyrs. See it’s symbolism HERE.
2. Perfume. The definition of perfume is “A pleasing, agreeable scent or odor”, made up of the word “fuming” – To fill or permeate with fragrance; impart a pleasant odor to. This is symbolic as memories are like a pleasing fragrance to a troubled mind.
Here are some behind-the-scenes pics:
Sitting down to do an interview with Benita Allen of “Chica-Loca!” , I’m overwhelmed with her energy, charisma and creativity. This stylish young designer has a string of awards behind her name, as well as a flourishing boutique in Cavendish Square, Cape Town. She also has outlets in Johannesburg and – lucky for us- sells her clothes online! It’s hard to imagine this mom-of-one finds the time to run a successful label, manage a shop, spit out new designs every month, dress celebrities, attend swanky events and spearhead the marketing and promotions of her brand! We order our lattes from Vida E and get to work on the interview. If you would like to check the “Chica-Loca!” Facebook Page, click HERE.
Tamika: Where are you from originally?
Benita: Cape Town.
Tamika: Where did you go to school?
Tamika: What kind of training did you do for design, if any?
Benita: I studied a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Cape Town. I dropped out of that and attended the Kalk Bay School of Fine Arts. I also did a course in oil painting at that time. After my studies were competed, I travelled for five years and tried my hand at various things. I was an artist for a bit, a P.A., I worked in advertising, and so on. I then focused more on fashion specifically and completed a diploma in Fashion Design at the Cape Town College of Fashion. That was three years. After that I immediately started up Chica-Loca! around 2004.
Tamika: When did your label start and where can we find your clothes?
Benita: In 2004. So it’s been going for 9 years. You can find the clothes in Cavendish Square, Cape Town, and also at Egality at 25 4th Avenue, Parkhurst, Johannesburg. I also stock online at 36Boutiques.
Tamika: Where did you find the money for your first collection or even outfit that you designed – parents, fundraising events?
Benita: I started off designing a range of tops for Crayon Shoes – they hosted private shoe parties. I sold at their invitation-only events until I was approached by Kim from India Jane at one of the parties. She took on my entire collection in all three of her boutiques and things took off from there! I got my name Chica-Loca! because it’s Spanish for “crazy girl”. I studied Spanish and I liked the phrase!
Tamika: What are your influences, mainly? What are you inspired by?
Benita: I have a fabric-first philosophy. I find fabric that I like first, and then I’m inspired to design my clothes.
Tamika: What’s in the pipeline for you at the moment – what collection, fashion show, event etc.?
Benita: I’m very excited about stocking at Egality. Also with our newest input which has gone into 36Boutiques.
Tamika: Have you won any awards?
Benita: When Design Indaba started a few years ago, I was one of the featured young designers. We’ve been nominated for a lot of fashion awards over the years since then and have also received a lot of media.
Tamika: What designer do you look up to?
Benita: Mary Katrantzou.
Tamika: Are you planning on staying in South Africa?
Benita: I have no set plans on staying in South Africa.
Tamika: Where do you party, usually?
Benita: I don’t! Haha! I attend functions and special occasions.
Tamika: What’s in the boot of your car right now?
Benita: My five-year-old’s drawings!
Tamika: Do you have siblings?
Benita: Yes, one brother.
Tamika: What does your family do?
Benita: My dad has a car body shop and my mom works with me. She does the accounts.
Tamika: What’s a typical day for you?
Benita: I take Scarlett to school first, then I go to my studio above The Lot in Kloof Street. I source fabrics, do admin, plan, design and work! work! work!
Tamika: Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?
Benita: I would like to continue establishing Chica-Loca! as a successful brand and achieve some real success nationwide and internationally.
Tamika: What’s one interesting thing about you that your followers don’t you?
Benita: I’m obsessed with mixed martial arts!
Tamika: Name a place you love.
Benita: I love walking my dog anywhere.
Tamika: Do you do any charity work?
Benita: I do contribute to a few charities regularly but I could do more! I am very involved in any events that empower women. I support animal anti cruelty – animals are very close to my heart.
Tamika: What do you tell yourself when you have finished your latest work/creation?
Benita: “What next!?”