Anees Petersen is a young clothing designer from Cape Town. His label, Young & Lazy has been making waves in the streetwear scene in the Mother City and beyond. Hailing from Woodstock originally, Anees draws inspiration from around him and it culminates in his impeccably crafted, barrier-pushing collections that make Young & Lazy apparel a want on everyone’s ‘cop list’. After applying his talents to women’s wear and then men’s, Anees has also extended Young & Lazy into skatewear, with the brand repping its first skater recently. I sat down with Anees to talk fashion, our city and being cool, obviously.
Where did everything begin with Young & Lazy and how did the name originate?
In 2009 I opened a store with some fellow students/colleagues and we all decided to do our own brands. I had to come up with a name quite quickly and wanted something true and comfortable; hence Young & Lazy. The name also epitomised me at the time (laughs), so yeah, I’m still living the brand. After college I worked at Woolworths to gain some experience and then decided to go at it alone with Young & Lazy.
What is your favourite part about being a fashion designer?
The environment it puts me in…meeting amazing people. It gives me the opportunity to work with my hands. I work with my hands every day and get to create something – that’s what I always wanted.
Do you think living in a city like Cape Town itself influences your work?
Definitely. It was only recently, though, that I decided to use where I’m ‘born and raised’ (Cape Town) as a focal point, to draw inspiration from, so my work is more authentic.
What do you think of current Cape Town streetwear?
Well, street culture in Cape Town actually exists and I’m grateful for that. The street style here has been around for a while and I have seen growth but yes, obviously, Cape Town also mimics international trends, with little to no originality. Too many people make the mistake of drawing inspiration from the Internet instead of their surroundings.
How do you go about selecting styles or materials to use? What does your creative process entail?
Every project or collection is different. I always try to work with people whose work I am fond of or admire and I really enjoy working with unknown people. My main process would be: gathering a concept, then doing up mood boards and storyboards (to flesh out the concept), then I select fabrics and then it’s creating the patterns for the garments, sampling and lastly, production.
What will we see from Young & Lazy’s winter range?
I’ve got a few collaborations coming out with Montle Moorosi and Mia Chaplin. The winter range will be dropping at the end of May 2015 and then another collection at the end of June. I’m trying to put out a new collection every month and also trying to push the skate division of the Young & Lazy brand more.
Plans for the future?
I’d like to take Young & Lazy abroad and splitting it into the fashion and skating aspects of the brand.
What advice would you give other aspiring designers?
Put in a lot of work. Cry a lot. And stop copying me! (laughs)