SIES! Isabelle is a ladies wear brand, sculpting gentle cocoons out of luxurious natural fabrics. Founder, Isabelle Lotter, creates exquisite asymmetrical pieces from her studio in Midrand, which she has recently opened as a creative hub for likeminded creatives to work from. Isabelle’s passion for creating a sustainable, ethical fashion industry motivates many of her ventures and partnerships.
As a child growing up in a creative home but in conservative South Africa, the word sies – which means ‘yuck’ or ‘shame on you’ – was one Lotter often heard due to her non-conformist behaviour and artistic inclination.
Her label Sies! Isabelle was, therefore, a defiant celebration of her uniquely creative identity and signature.
The label was established in 2006 and launched at South African Fashion Week in 2009. SIES! Isabelle has garnered a loyal following of women who love artisan prints and clothing, with a timeless, yet individual edge
Sies aims to make her muse feel beautiful, dressing her in clothing that is both flattering to her body shape and easy to wear. Clothing that compliments, rather than eclipses. Lotter aims to provide her muse with the raw material to create her own narrative, adding her own new elements; layering it with a different tone, changing the setting from the enchanted forest to a coffee date in Greenside. And so the tale takes on a life of its own; Sies’s contribution being neither the beginning nor the end. Our African bodies do not conform to the Chinese, European or American mould yet we have been forced to feel shame rather than celebrate being healthy human beings.
Lotter delights in finding concepts, silhouettes, details, ideas or stories and retelling them. With each rendition, it changes; adapted by Lotter – the storyteller – to suit the audience, trends or season. She designs for the more voluptuous women, for women who embrace their figures and want to adorn them in beautiful clothing.
Lotter runs mentorship programmes for young designers where they can work on their projects in her factory and with both her and her experienced staff’s support.
A design by Sies Isabelle is featured in the Zeitz MOCAA exhibition, 21 YEARS: Making Histories with South African Fashion Week (2018 -2019).