hl next level 2018: ceramicist and jewellery designer githan coopoo

Trevor Stuurman
Seven months after producing his first collection for South African Menswear Week, Githan Coopoo was invited to showcase his unique ceramic jewellery at New York Fashion Week, which he says was a defining career moment for him. Githan’s latest project, a collaboration with AKJP Collective, saw him designing a window installation for the store and launching a new collection there.

how did you get started as a jewellery maker?

I was asked to collaborate with a friend for their South African Menswear Week fashion show in 2017, resulting in the production of my first collection of jewellery and accessories.

did you always want to be doing what you’re doing now? If not, what did you want to be when you were growing up?

I didn't see this coming when I was younger. I drifted between trend forecasting, fashion curating – many things. Growing up I was relatively undecided. I’m still undecided now.

do you have any special favourites among the works you’ve created?

I do have a few earrings I have made that I will keep forever. They are from the first collections I made. In general, I often have great difficulty letting go of work as each piece is unique and made only once – I value them all.

what’s your defining career moment to date?

Showcasing my work at New York Fashion Week, seven months after I produced my first collection.

are there any artists that you look up to?

Jody Brand, Angel-Ho, Gabrielle Kannemeyer and Jabu Newman.

where do you find your inspiration?

In ancient symbolism and iconography. Of late, very mundane things have been inspiring to me too.

which single place would you recommend people visit?

The Cape Town City Library – it’s an undervalued space and resource.

 what’s the oddest or most memorable piece of art you’ve ever seen?

The Corpus Clock in Cambridge, UK. Learn all about the game changers who are taking things to the Next Level in our #HLNEXTLEVEL2018  issue.