Couture and homeware come together in a limited-edition collection of handcrafted linen and scented candles by celebrated South African designer Gavin Rajah and homeware retailer @home. Named Prêt à Vivre, which means ‘ready to live’, the collaboration is the first of its kind and will be launching in @home stores on 23 November 2017.
Famed for his exquisite couture creations, Rajah believes his move from fashion to homeware ‘follows a natural progression’, giving customers the chance to bring artfully considered design into their homes, creating a space of luxury and refinement. ‘We want to create memorable experiences that evoke the senses. It’s not only about the product, but also about how it makes our customers feel,’ comments Chris Swart, head of @home.
The Prêt à Vivre collection is inspired by the joy of living and is a nod to the historical roots of the couture movement, while making it more accessible to those who love style. Intricate design details like delicate vintage florals, trendy geometrics and metallics show inspiration was sought in Rajah’s SS18 collection. ‘Fashion leads, homeware follows,’ as he says.
The scented candles were inspired by Rajah’s love for travel, alternative healing and flowers. Mesmerising scents have been designed to comfort and uplift, creating a sense of opulence in any room. What’s more is, once melted, the candles made from 100% soy wax and essential oils can be used as a moisturiser or massage oil. ‘We wanted to create something that inspires and facilitates the customer’s wellbeing, particularly their sleep experience, and the creation of their own sanctuaries where they can relax and destress,’ says Rajah.
Throughout the creative process, the Gavin Rajah and @home team kept customers’ wellbeing central to all they did. This helped create a balance between entrenching their luxurious aesthetic in the market and being commercially accessible.
Not only does the collaboration bring the sophistication of internationally acclaimed fashion design to discerning consumers, but the Prêt à Vivre range is also harnessing and developing local talent. The range is the driving force behind the initiative, ‘Behind the Seams’, a project that outsources and trains women from vulnerable communities to sew and embroider. ‘Many of these women head up their households and are the sole breadwinners for their families,’ explains Rajah. ‘Becoming involved in the project enables them to provide for their children while developing their own innate potential and learning additional business skills as well.’
Thus, consumers can enjoy the luxury of the range, while also having the pleasure of knowing that every product bought contributes to the development of local talent and improves the lifestyles of many disadvantaged families.
Prêt à Vivre will be available at @home stores nationwide from 23 November 2017, for a limited period only.