Stepping out in style | SASCOC - SASCOC

Stepping out in style

Hot-shot Durban designer Leigh Schubert will enjoy a grandstand view when Team South Africa march out at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Oympics and Paralympics, writes Mark Etheridge.

Schubert’s design of Team SA’s kit was an overwhelming favourite amongst the South African public who voted for their favorite from six finalists, of the 20 established South African designers invited to submit entries to clothe our country’s top athletes.

Part of her prize was a return ticket to London, tickets at the opening ceremony and accommodation in London, valued at more than R35,000.

“I had an idea in my head quite quickly,” she said at the Team SA announcement on Wednesday. “Incorporating the flag was key but also the most difficult,” she smiled.

“But once I had the idea I just had fun and it took around a day to sketch. Obviously it had to be proudly South African and comfortable and needed to fit all shapes and sizes.”

Schubert has been in the industry for around 17 years now and has carved out a niche for herself. She was the first South African to display her work at the prestigious Australian Fashion Week (she’s done so twice), and she exports her garments to high-end boutiques in New York.

“Part of my research was to look at the history of opening ceremony kits ÔÇô I must have looked at about five or six outfits from around the world ÔÇô but I saw that some of the more cryptic weren’t all that effective so my idea was to create something sharp, strong, bright and very obviously South African,” she concluded.