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Warrick Gautier on Fabiani's foray into womenswear

Suiting and tailoring brand Fabiani, established as an exclusively menswear label for nearly forty years, has broadened its focus to include women's fashion. The launch of Fabiani Women marks the beginning of a new era for the brand, the pioneer behind the new collection none other than acclaimed local designer Warrick Gautier.
Warrick Gautier and Minnie Dlamini at the Sandton City store launch.
Warrick Gautier and Minnie Dlamini at the Sandton City store launch.

The brand's Le Smoking collection includes masculine-inspired pieces like shirting, tailored suiting and accessories as well as softer pieces like silk blouses, decorative bows and heels.

Fabiani Womenswear made its runway debut at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Johannesburg this August, and was recently followed by flagship store openings in Canal Walk, Cape Town and Sandton City, Johannesburg. The stores boast luxurious interiors with marbled and mirrored walls, and gold plated finishings. According to the company, a further six locations are set to open nationwide before the end of 2017.

Here, Gautier shares the inspiration behind the new offering.

Why has Fabiani decided to launch a women’s range?

Warrick Gautier: Fabiani has launched a women’s range to complement the highly successful Fabiani men’s collection, and to address the pressing need in the South African market for African luxury tailored womenswear.

What was the inspiration behind the Fabiani Women’s collection?

Gautier: Powerful women and their appreciation for couture, art, music and theatre.

What is the theme of this collection?

Gautier: Positioning couture as art in a way that is accessible.

Warrick Gautier on Fabiani's foray into womenswear

What makes a Fabiani woman stand out from the crowd?

Gautier: A Fabiani woman stands out because of her appreciation for luxury, refined tailoring and couture, as well as her fearless drive and ambition combined with her sensual femininity.

What is the colour scheme of this collection?

Gautier: Glamorous neutrals meeting high voltage metallic with tones of pink.

Describe the key pieces of the collection?

Gautier: Refined tailoring, high voltage suiting and dramatic feminine couture.

What materials have you selected for the collection, and why?

Gautier: Intricate and refined hand beading is at the core off the collection. Adding to this, we have incorporated opulent metallic woven jacquard fabrics, silk chiffons and silk satins.

AFI turns 10 this year, what is the most fundamental shift you have seen in the fashion industry over the past 10 years?

Gautier: With the recent growth of the fashion industry in South Africa, there is a great opportunity now more than ever for designers to showcase their unique, differentiated offerings. Having a unique craft will most definitely be the deciding factor for successful designers.

The Fabiani Women collection and exclusive couture pieces as seen at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week are available in selected stores nationwide and online at

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