an interview with havilah arendse.

an interview with havilah arendse.

welcome to the very first i&i blog! in this blog series you will read intimate thoughts and experiences from an array of different people - always ending with what beauty means to them.

for our first blog, bonnie gets to know havilah arendse...


' if you can embrace everything you think is "wrong with you" and actually love those parts of yourself, then you are the most beautiful woman ever. '

when havilah was a little girl, she would play with her dolls and create beautiful and colourful outfits for them to wear. eventually she became a little envious and wanted to make the same beautiful creations for herself. so she did.

havilah learnt how to hand sew, then how to make full garments then eventually decided to leave high school at 16 to follow her heart and study fashion. it has definitely worked out for her in my opinion, as she is showing her full collection at new zealand fashion week this year with many more offers rolling in from overseas.


i loved getting to know havilah; she is super warm and damn she knows what she wants. she has lived in the uk, south africa, auckland and wellington. she is 19 and has already studied fine arts and fashion for three years - no one would blame you for thinking she is 25. today we talked about the happiest moment of her life and what beauty means to her.





tell me about your fashion design…

when i was little and found out that you can actually study fashion as a degree, i literally couldn't wait to get started. i want to put as much as i can into my pieces. i was raised around a lot of colour. when i lived in south africa, the dullest colour of house on our street was yellow! it was just fluorescent, contrasting bright colours everywhere. after that you just can't look at black and white anymore.


what i really want is for people to see my pieces and feel empowered, like "wow i would feel really good wearing that."



do you have any advice for people who feel inside them they would love to express themselves in their clothing but feel like it might be uncomfortable to be seen?

i used to stay inside my shell a lot, always saying to myself "oh i'll wear that beautiful dress one day, i'll let my creative side fully out one day." but i don't want to always say one day! i want to be like today is the day i wear it! i am going to put that dress on and walk down the street and if someone looks at me, i'm going to think "they think i look good!" and that's it.


what would people be surprised to know about you?


when i was 9 i got really sick, was paralysed for a long time and it was uncertain if i'd ever walk again. it was really scary and hard.

what was the happiest moment of your life?

walking again! this is a part of why i am so headstrong in achieving my dreams.



what does beauty mean to you?


embracing your flaws, it is so cliché to say but if you can embrace everything you think is "wrong with you" and actually love those parts of yourself, then you are the most beautiful woman ever. because you don’t care what people are going to say about you. you just feel like "i look good, i feel good." that’s all that matters. to me that is the most beautiful thing.

see more of havilah's fashion collection here:




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