Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) and fashion do not seem likely collaborators, but the acclaimed South African fashion designer Suzaan Heyns continues to push the boundaries of ready-to-wear fashion with her 2012 spring/summer collection.  

The new collection will see Heyns take her label’s architectural signature to a new level by uniquely incorporating cement into the construction of the garments. The garments formed part of her collection that was unveiled at the South African Fashion Week in March.

The collaboration between PPC and fashion showcases how innovation and creativity can create new frontiers for both industries. The collection has a strong allure of art and showcases Heyns’ conceptual ability and originality, with each garment having a strong sculptural element.

PPC Cement’s history in promoting arts and the creative use of concrete stretches over two decades through its longstanding Young Concrete Sculptor Awards (YCSA) competition, which has prompted the use of the material in the fashion world.

Sibongile Mooko, PPC’s General Manager of Marketing Services, says that Heyns’ latest collection reaffirms the versatility and flexibility of PPC Cement. “Cement may be just a grey powder in a bag, but the magic of its potential comes from the creativity of individuals who are willing to transform their environments into sanctuaries and areas of beauty that they love to be in, whether it is an architectural design or a fashion garment.”

She says that at PPC Cement they have the mantra “If you can imagine it, our products have the strength to support it”.  

The Johannesburg-based fashion designer, whose label, Suzaan Heyns, was launched in 2009, can best be described as having an architectural sentiment that has a feminine twist, with concepts derived from avante garde ideals and classic silhouettes.

“I have always wanted to become a sculptor and approach fashion like an art, using fabric as my medium. This collaboration has inspired me to work with concrete as a new fabric. It has been an incredibly creative process and the result is a unique sculptural collection,” says Heyns.

Heyns’ creations will play a supportive role in the build-up to PPC’s 21st YCSA competition. The competition is the longest-running competition of its kind in South Africa, which encourages sculptors to rethink the role of art and design in their everyday lives. It is a platform for young emerging artists to showcase their creativity and innovation by using the medium of concrete.

PPC Cement
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