Designer reveals the diva in every woman

Hillcrest’s own Brenda Quinn believes there is a Diva in every woman, and designs specifically with that truth in mind.

The ensemble created by Hillcrest’s Brenda Quin for the Vodacom Durban July Timeless Collection, presented by Durban Fashion Fair, modelled by Khwezi Ngwenya. PHOTO: JoNo@Pure Studio/

HILLCREST’S Brenda Quin has been fashioning a brand that embraces the inner diva in every woman she dresses since 1994.

Her fashion label, Diva, is inspired by African print fabrics, specifically Ankara African Print and Shweshwe which is trending, but also uses these distinctive prints in other fabrics to create clothing for women looking for fashion that outlasts fads and trends and has a timeless quality, while still capturing each year’s identifying silhouettes.

“After 18 years experience of studying the market I felt there was a niche for bespoke products for the consumer looking for sophisticated, fun, quality fashion with a sense of individuality at an accessible price,” explained Quin.

Workmanship is also a crucial component of the Diva label’s success with Quin feeling strongly that construction is essential to create a special element within each and every piece in the Diva Shop.

This is done in a way that also empowers others.

“Diva is a growing independent business that cares about the individuals employed, we offer paid training and full time employment to locally sourced talent,” said Quin adding that her business works with non-governmental organisations to create accessories to accompany the clothing. “We have a small team dedicated to making each piece with their loving hands.”

At present her label employs 12 staff full-time, and she seems ready to continue to grow her brand by setting her sights on bigger and better goals and never giving up on the exacting standards she sets for herself.

Asked about advice she might offer anyone wanting to enter the fashion industry she said: “Fashion is not a game, it’s not about glamour and recognition, it’s about hard work, determination, blood, sweat and tears. It’s about falling down and getting back up. Its about believing in yourself, being self-driven and motivated to succeed.”

Describing herself as having a heart that “beats with the rhythm of Africa,” Quin has dressed Miss South Africa and Miss World contestants as well as Miss Teen Africa, and most recently Miss World, model of the year.

“I have a passion for dressing woman. I believe the strongest fashion statement any woman can make is expressing individuality. I cater for all sizes, specialising in plus size. I do evening, cocktail and day wear.”

By Evelyn Morris.

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