Nothing is as delectable to the eye as a crisp, clean line, beautiful construction and interesting shape in a piece of clothing. With that in mind, I was entrapped in a visual feast when I found this young brand on Instagram. Intrigued by his vision, I spoke to Creative Director, Luke Radloff about his brand UNÍ FORM.
5 words to describe your brand
Classic, Considered, Engineered, Directional, Luxe
What is your brand philosophy?
UNÍ FORM is a collection of modular, trans-seasonal pieces with a core focus on the garments and quality. Elevated classics that complement the power of women.
What inspired you to create the label?
I’ve wanted to put my name on a project like this for many years but it never felt right until now. I’ve worked in all parts of the industry, locally and internationally for over 10 years including more corporate environments and as I get older, I know that I’m happiest when I’m creating.
Being a young designer in SA comes with a set of challenges. What are some of the challenges that you have faced?
I think all designers in South Africa face obstacles, whether young or established. We have a lack of resources and now the threat of international fast fashion retailers is misleading the local consumer about what ethical and sustainable clothing production really costs.
What is your background and how does it influence what you create?
I grew up in the Eastern Cape and everything I saw influences me today, from the super chic layering of Xhosa women, to conservative school uniforms, it all informs me as a person and subsequently what I create.
Where do you find inspiration?
WOMEN! I’d be nowhere without all the powerful women in my life who constantly inspire me. I have also always been fascinated by what I see on the streets of Johannesburg, uniforms everywhere, keeping this industrial city moving.
What is your creative process?
I enjoy taking an idea and evolving it meticulously until I feel it’s perfectly resolved. Time is obviously a massive luxury, but I could sit and discuss a sleeve or hem length for hours.
Minimalism as a trend seems to come in and out of fashion. What do you think sets your brand apart as a constant, rather than a trend?
It’s funny, because I don’t see it as a ‘minimalist’ brand necessarily, but I guess it’s all relative. To me, when something is made well, it becomes timeless and devoid of trend. There is nothing more classic then a well-constructed garment.
5 pieces every woman should own?
Women should wear whatever makes them happy, whether it’s a menswear inspired suit or even a sequined mini dress, if that’s what makes them feel comfortable. For a die-hard UNÍ FORM woman, she would probably have the following in her wardrobe always:
- Perfectly cropped black tailored trousers
- Oversized crisp white shirt
- Duster coat
- Classic pair of denims
- Contemporary-fitting T-shirt with a dropped shoulder and longer sleeve
How do we get our hands on UNI FORM?
I’m working on the next capsule and hope to be retailing early next year but for now I’ll be taking custom orders. You can follow @uniformza on Instagram or email email@example.com for any enquiries.