The fashion industry remains devastated and in shock after the passing of leading South African fashion designer, Coenraad De Mol.
The South African fashion designer, Coenraad De Mol, took his last breath on Tuesday, 19 May 2020, causing the industry to lose both a rare visionary creative as well as a caring and committed friend, employer and mentor.
When he established his label, De Mil, in 1997, the leading designer specialised in bridalwear and theatrical costumes. A decade later, he shifted his focus to menswear and later became known for his cutting-edge gender-neutral collections.
Most of his followers and those who have worked with him only have positive things to say about him.
The Sunday Times Fashion director, Sharon Becker, said: “Coenraad was a kind and gentle designer with deeply personal work who always challenged convention. A master pattern maker, this is a huge loss for fashion.”
Another SA Fashion Week CEO, Lucilla Booyzen, wrote in a tribute post on Instagram: “Coenraad was a highly gifted and knowledgeable industry leader who derived great joy from the creative process.” She added that the fashion designer was a “perfectionist” who has always been “exceptionally generous with his expertise”.
Commenting on the post, designer Michael Reid of Xavier Sadan said: “This is a huge loss for the industry. He was one of the most knowledgeable people I knew and the best mentor anyone could’ve asked for.”
Sunday Times Fashion editor Sahil Harilal also shared: “I remember meeting Coenraad at his studio and instantly being overwhelmed with his graciousness and warm smile. You thrived in his presence, you wanted to be the best version of yourself when you were around him. His creative brilliance and overwhelming kindness was an incredible part of our industry.”
TV director, Paul Tilsley, shared on Twitter saying, “a real creative force” has been lost to the world.