It's been an amazing year for Trevor Stuurman
Trevor Stuurman (Photo: Supplied)
Cape Town - The last time I spoke to Trevor Stuurman, he’d just been appointed one of the brand ambassadors for flavoured beer Flying Fish. That was about 13 months ago, which is ages ago in Trevor Stuurman time, during which a great deal can happen.
When we chat earlier this week, his new collaboration with Superga has just gone on sale – its first collection together with Stuurman as the Summer 2016/17 face.
“It’s been an amazing two years,” says the soft-spoken, Kimberley-born Stuurman. “I got a Mini endorsement, which has enabled me to work with Mini and travel to some great places and events throughout the world. I went to Italy to attend the Pitti Uomo – one of the world’s most important menswear platforms. I am back at Woolies for Style by SA as a trend consultant, which is empowering because I am not just being seen [as one of the faces] but also being heard and able to advise on pop culture and where people are, which is important because so many of us [as black people] want to be seen. For a long time, we weren’t being represented.”
In addition to that, Stuurman was named one of GQ’s best-dressed men last year, where he came in second after Mi Casa’s J’Something.
His latest collaboration with shoe brand Superga comes after “a yearlong process of negotiations, curating, conceptualising and then finally shooting the campaign.” He says he said yes to what is now a fresh-looking campaign because “I have always loved Superga and felt that it was a natural fit. What I love the most about it is that it celebrates style democracy. It is a shoe that can be equally celebrated and worn by people from different walks of life.”
Interestingly, in a year of some great achievements, he cites the shout-out he got from the official Instagram account as his biggest highlight. “Just for my work to be shared with over 180 million people is amazing, especially because Instagram has been such an important platform for getting me to where I am.
I got emailed by one of their digital curators and they did an interview with me and said they wanted to understand Africa more, which is what I’ve tried to use my Instagram for, so the dots just connected. It was really cool.” Stuurman says that lucrative shout-out has led to even more opportunities, including some work with a big-name international media outlet.
In addition to this, he’s also been nominated for three awards at The Abryanz Style and Fashion Awards. As I listen to him relate what he’s been up to in the past year, it occurs to me that it all comes back to fashion – this is despite his formal training being in film and photography – and I ask him whether he had ever intended for fashion to be such a big part of his life. “I can’t remember a time when fashion was never a big part of my life. But it’s such a big communicator, and I am a big advocate of local fashion. For instance, all the garments and props that I used to style the Superga shoot were proudly made in South Africa. My love for print and pursuit for prosperity are also captured. And I am deliberate about showcasing and highlighting fashion wherever I can, because fashion has become such a powerful asset in my life.”
Stuurman is particularly focused on showcasing local designers and designers from other parts of the continent and says: “I really want to invest in as much of the African continent as a whole because I think so many of us are detached from what’s happening here. We don’t appreciate it until we see it’s been appropriated. We wait for Louis Vuitton to do Masai-inspired scarves or Basotho blankets before we start talking about the importance and significance of the items we have around us. We really don’t capitalise on our own culture nearly enough, which is a great pity.”
Stuurman has also been making hats with much-loved local brand Simon and Mary, which he says has been a small-scale operation, but recently received its biggest order of 750 hats from one of the beer companies, which he says is really great. For now, however, manufacturing fashion on a large scale is not part of his immediate plans because “there just isn’t time – there is so much happening.”
What he does have in his plans is taking his work to the next level through the creation of a space where he can work and exhibit with partners. “I think the local creative industry is in a really good space, but we still don’t partner enough, which is a pity. We could do so many more cool and interesting things if we tapped into other people and their skills. There are bloggers in the world who know exactly how much they can make in a year, and that’s because they are being advised by strategic partners. So, the next level is a space, hopefully in Maboneng, where we can make those kinds of creative collaborations, but also make really great work. A proper space of business and creativity.”
You can follow Trevor Stuurman on Instagram @trevorstuurman. The Trevor Stuurman Superga collection is available at selected Superga concept stores. Visit superga.co.za for more information