The Soul behind High-End Street Wear

Posted on December 11, 2017

“ I'm quite a simple person, it is work, friends, good times and family person, went to an all boys high school in Potch Boys but 'im originally from Rynfield Benoni. My mother is from Angola and father from Johannesburg, I am a fashion designer and an engineering student at the University of Pretoria”.

I was visiting a friend of mine in Pretoria, met this amazing girl who then tuned me to Simon, she tuned me to him because of the conversation we was having, since then I have visited Simon's work place a couple of times and I must say he is the best luxury street wear designer in the country.

The homie is currently based in Pretoria, I had to ask him about the culture in Pretoria as compared to that of Johannesburg and which city influences his designs. “There's no specific culture in Pretoria , people here like what they like and don’t like what they don’t. It also consists of socials circles if one member buys, they all usually buy. My designs aren’t influenced by Pretoria’s culture they are more Joburg than here, but people here are influenced by Joburg so they buy just as much as my Joburg clients”.

(PICTURE: Alexandra Gouveia Designer Custom Denim Jacket)

The homie Simon says he makes high end street wear, which might be a new concept for a lot of people, I found out what his brand is all about and what is “high end street wear”.
“I've never though of my brand to be generic and for everyone even before I found the name, its almost like my personality, high end street wear basically summarizes me as the designer at this point and will eventually evolve and take on who I will become later. It is not a static brand that wants to be understood, its ever growing and ever changing but right now, its an expensive exclusive luxury street brand”.

To break away from the brand for a minute, I asked the homer what was his thoughts on the DIY (Do It Yourself) concept, that most of the kids are into and he confessed that he is pro DIY “ my designing is the product of it, so I encourage it. We will eventually reach an innovate state of art as opposed to copying each other, once DIY becomes saturated and creatives become creative which is a good thing”.

(PICTURE: Alexandra Gouveia Branded Bodysuits)

Back to the brand “Alexandra Gouveia”, I taped in the homers mind, about his collaboration with the influencer, stylist and designer Didi Monsta, I had to find out how that all came about. “I’ve known Didi for about 3/4 years and have been designing for him since high school. He just needed a strong designer who understands his vision in terms of garments construction and that's how the collaboration came about. Collabos are not my main focus, I don’t see my brand next to any other brand in the country, not because its better or higher, it just wouldn’t look right. If I should collaborate at this point it would be with a painter or an arts person”.

(PICTURE: @Lady Zamar dress designed by Alexandra Gouveia)


(PICTURE: Dresses designed by Alexandra Gouveia)

Simon has worked with major brand/artists in this country, I wanted to know how does he choose the people he works with on a personal level, and he alluded that he works with anyone who sees themselves in his brand, because they somehow see themselves as he sees himself. “ I can’t know for sure what shape size nor color of my people, my brand attracts but if they are willing to pay for my art, they are my people. I’ve always crossed paths with your now celebrities in my journey. I have dated Nomuzi Mabena, dated Boitumelo Thulo, rapped with Casper Nyovest , rapped with Ginger Trill etc. I guess its all inevitable for us to meet again.

(PICTURE: @Moozile dressed by Alexandra Gouveia)

I asked the homer what inspired the name, how did the name come about. “You could say the name comes from the family, my mother is Angolian and her maiden surname is Gouveia, my brothers second name is Alexander, not knowing that Alexandra was a girls name and Alexander was for males, I like the female version better and I guess I stuck with that”.

PICTURE: Grey Suit by Alexandra Gouveia worn by @Mandla_ntimane)

Scroll down the social medias of most kids, you gonna find names like”creative director” and “designer`” on their bios, I had to ask the homer what separates the creative director to the designer “ I am more of a creator than a director in terms of clothing. I know how I would wear combos but that won’t neccesarily work for all my clients. There are items I wouldn’t mix, but some of the kids pull it off well, possibly because of their character and persona”.

(PICTURE: Alexandra Gouveia Bomber Jackets)

Hip hop is the most influential medium in the urban youth culture right now, so I asked the homer which hip hop artist, is taking it top floor in fashion, he mentioned king kotini himself, Riky Ricy that he has a good eye for fashion…”Ricky Rick has good eye for fashion, but I would say his travels to high fashion capitals contributes to his wide eye for fashion, everyone else in hip hop need a little bit of help, but thats only my opinion”.

(PICTURE: Simon @Alexandra Gouveia)

Fashion, especially the street wear industry in South Africa has grown immensely in the past year or two. We no longer only have DIY designs, but kids are now brand owners, and are really creating dope threads, I asked the homer who are the brands that he thinks are killing it locally. ”3am by Didi Monsta, Staff Only by Nokana are on a good path, I can’t say too much about other brands I’ve seen locally”.

With the spring/summer season upon us, I had to find out from the designer, which are the must have items for the season and he tuned me about graphic t-shirts, color straight cut track pants and grey formal flannels.

Back to the future, I found out from the designer where to from now with Alexandra Gouveia designs..”mass productions and art display pop up stores, my clients want more and want to have a shoppers experience from my brand”. I must say I cannot wait for the pop ups, I know the kids will be lining up and be a sold out experience.

With so much work behind him I asked him what advice he has for a young upcoming designer. ”everyone is a creative, we all need to channel ourselves and give each other 100% of our true selves, we are not trap lords or rappers and need to clothe ourselves how we see ourselves”.

Follow the brand on social media.

Instagram: @alexandragouveia / @houseofgouveia