I’m so excited about today’s post! My fingers have been itching to click publish since I started editing and I’m super happy it’s finally live! If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you will know that I am very passionate about putting my home Country Cameroon on the map. And so when the super talented Cameroonian designer, Brian Ndienze asked if I would like to be a part of the catalogue for his 2018 collection, I literally jumped at the opportunity and availed myself.
I met Brian during the Miss Cameroon South Africa 2016 Pageant in Johannesburg, which I competed in. He was one of the official designers for the pageant and I remember being so blown away by the corporate wear he designed as one of the looks for the pageant. I’m proud to have come to know and respect Brian and his incredible talent. I’m even more thrilled that he’s from Cameroon because that gives me bragging rights! My Cameroonian people, I hope you’re getting ready to celebrate one of our own! Let’s showcase what Cameroon is really made of.
“This season Hauz Of Lenze launches its Autumn/Winter, Spring/Summer 2018 Catalogue themed “Thee Other Side Of Me” which expresses the stereotypes in mainstream fashion. We are living in the 21st century where fashion should be expressed with how you feel. The fact is, fashion is an expressive form of art – it enables us to look on the outside the way we feel on the inside” – Brian Ndienze.
The pieces we created this season are bold and carry a very strong and commanding character, which speaks to all genders. Majority of the pieces created are unisex with the use of same materials and technics.
We have been able to create pieces that anyone can wear and not feel or have any negative affiliations. Hauz of Lenze’ prides itself in giving the majority of people that comfort and voice they need in the fashion world.
Let’s celebrate how people dress, whether similarly to us or different! Our cultures and traditions are different but through fashion we are able to feel somewhat united and are heard – Brian Ndienze.
So I’m sure you have a couple of questions going through your mind right now. But thanks to yours truly, I went ahead and asked Brian so many questions already. I was just too interested in his story and I’m sure you are too! His responses made me smile because I could read the realness in his words! So, here we go.
1. Which part of Cameroon are you from?
I am originally from the Lebialem division, born in Bamenda and raised in Kumba.
2. What inspired you to pursue a career in fashion design?
I have always known that one day I will pursue a career in the fashion industry – I just didn’t know when, even after my degree in Travel and Tourism. But it hit me after I lost my mom in 2010. She taught me most of what I now know and understand about Fashion. She was a crochet designer, so I decided to continue what she had been doing so well and so gracefully – that is one of my biggest inspirations.
3. When did you create your very first design.
At the age of 14, I created my first design. I remember that day so clearly! My siblings wore items my mom had bought for us but when I came out of the room, I was dressed differently from the rest.
4. Was designing your natural creative talent or you had to study fashion design or both?
Designing has always been a natural creative talent and gift, as well as the other surrounding aspects such as the business side of things. As I grew, I taught myself technique and marketing my brand. So my skills are self taught. However, I want to study it someday to have a better understanding and the qualification to back my gift.
5. What Inspires your designs: your culture, life experiences…etcs?
Life experiences, every day activities, the people I meet, travelling, life inspires my designs.
6. What do you think some of the challenges are for creatives in Cameroon?
Lack of resources and information are the biggest challenges, as well as very little or no platform for exposure.
7. What’s the fashion scene like in South Africa compared to Cameroon from your perspective?
South Africa is like the NYC in Africa – The hub of Fashion in Africa. Because of its economic growth and development it has gained more popularity in the industry compared to Cameroon or other African countries. But I do believe in the Cameroon fashion industry.
8. Did you experience any challenges as a male designer in a foreign country?
Challenges are a part of one’s life, whether or not it’s in a career space. I did face a lot of challenges but not specifically as a male designer and I believe I am where I am today as a male designer because I challenged those challenges.
9. You have traveled to many countries over the years. Which country is your favourite so far?
The list is endless but Mozambique, Namibia, equatorial guinea.
10. What do you prefer : To travel in search of inspiration, or to settle in one place and build your brand?
Travelling is part of my career as creative ideas and inspiration comes from travelling. I can’t do with out travelling!
11. What is your most proud moment so far in your career?
To have been part of a creative team for a leading series on South African television called “High Rollers” where we won best costume design at the South African Film and Television Awards. That moment was priceless and God given!
12. If you could collaborate with another creative, who will it be?
Taibo Barca from Mozambique and Olivier Rousteing.
13. What can you tell young emerging Cameroonian designers trying to find their place in the fast paced industry?
Once you discover your talent, nurture it and put the passion before the profit. Manage that and every other challenge that comes with it. The end result will be a profit that is immeasurable and inevitable!
14. What’s the inspiration behind the brand name “Hauz of Lenze” and what does the brand represent?
Life and all it’s experiences is my one most focal point of inspiration. Because through all these experiences and what they do to you, whether good or bad, you can channel them in creating good impact in peoples lives. So to me LIFE means, Live In Fashion Experience – To tell our daily struggles, achievements and stories to the world through fashion. This is my motivation and inspiration.
The name Lenze was derived from my surname Ndienze. After I lost my mom, and because I wanted to continue her legacy in the fashion industry, I decided to remove the NDi in my surname and replace with and “L” which stands for Love, then added the Hauz which could be mansion in French or a house/empire in English. Thus “Hauz Of Lenze'” was born!
The brand specialises in costume, textile, fashion and technical designs as well as styling, consulting and fashion illustration. My production entices the imagination beyond expectation. I will always challenge myself and go beyond my limits, to create a high end visual experience.
LET’S WRAP UP!
I know your heart is still beating fast and recovering from what your eyes just saw! Do not be dismayed, that was me too when I saw them. We can’t forget to mention the incredibly talented photographers and creative directors who coordinated the shoot.
CONTACT BRIAN NDIENZE
So the good news is, all the outfits you just saw are available for orders and much much more! So you may peep the Hauz of Lenze Instagram page to view more designs, place orders, discuss collaborations, ask for interviews, tell Brian how awesome he is etcs.
Instagram : Hauz of Lenze
Facebook : Hauz of Lenze
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
I feel like my work here is done😊! And if you’re wondering which outfit was my favourite, all of them😂! Many thanks to Brian for the collaboration! I wish him more grace, immense favour, open doors, windows, ceilings and higher heights in Jesus name! And the people of God said…Amen.
🌹 Joan Akob