theSQUAD Creative Event Management Company Johannesburg
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Design Matters with Vanessa B Clothing

Design Matters with Bradley Kirshenbaum

Vanessa of Vanessa B Clothing has worked with theSQUAD since the year dot when we started (2013). She does bespoke clothing design, manufactures uniforms and outfits for activation staff, events, choirs and corporate wear, and can work to any brief. She’s also been an integral part of the wardrobe department on 10 seasons of Strictly Come Dancing SA as well as designing and making costumes for five of those seasons – working with the Head of Design, Lynn Driver of Just Tonight Josephine.

We fought for five minutes of her hectic time and won! Here’s what she shared about clothes, design and style.

Hi Vanessa, how did you get started in clothing design?

I’ve always had an interest in clothing, made my first skirt for myself at age 12. I studied clothing production at Wits Tech and have been working with some sort of clothing ever since.

And you’d done many diverse things since then?

Yes - everything from styling TV commercials and movies to making costumes for live dance shows to wedding dresses to dressing people for events and promotions. Vanessa B is the events and promotions arm of what I do.
So who’s your favourite designer?

I LOVE Zadig & Voltaire, very edgy which is my best.



Not everyone is born stylish but you can learn right?

 You can learn, but if you’ve been gifted with a good eye it helps.


Why are clothing impressions so important?

 First impressions count because with your choice of outfit (be it personal or for an event) you are communicating a lot about your brand before you’ve even said anything.


How would you describe theSQUAD’s style?

Kelly and her team are never run of the mill. They are fashionable as well as functional and not afraid to push the envelope a bit. It is really fun to dress them!
What are three mistakes people make with event clothing?

  • Dressing girls in super tight dresses with their logo on it.
  • Being afraid to do something different.
  • Making the staff look like waiters.

What are the most popular things you create?

My skill lies in giving people something you can’t just get off the shelf.


Design-Matters-with-Vanessa-B-ClothingAny clothing “malfunctions” ever happened?

They do happen every now and again. I won’t go into details to ‘protect the innocent’


What item would you love to design and have manufactured?

Handbags! I’m in the process of designing & making a range of leather bags... This is my passion project.


That sounds fabulous – we can’t wait to see them! Many thanks for your time.



Contact Vanessa B for all your bespoke corporate clothing needs: