When Art and Fashion merge...

It all started with selling one-of-a-kind kimono’s to make some money whilst studying her undergraduate. In 2014 this budding creative student, Julia Buchanan, started her brand JULIA off as a swimwear brand, inspired by Cape Town and its surrounds.

Fast track to today, she is an inspiring fashion designer who has just launched a collaborative collection with Pick 'n Pay Clothing.


After completing a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Painting from Michaelis School of Fine Art, she continued her studies and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship (PGDip). Masterfully Integrated to bring you this aspiring entrepreneur who enjoys exploring the intricacies of creativity, through fashion, fine art and culinary experiences. She is currently completing her Executive Master in Cultural Leadership at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, a programme which brings together cultural leaders, practitioners and academics from around the world, giving them a 360 degree view of the global arts and culture sector.


Not only a brilliant designer and entrepreneur but also a conscious one, Julia is an advocate of slow fashion, which is about consuming and creating fashion with integrity.


Second to oil, the clothing and textile industry is the largest polluter in the world.


”Seventy-five percent of fashion supply chain material ends up in landfills. This amounts to ‘the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles per second.’”

Pulse of the Fashion Industry 2018 Report


This environmental issue is a huge priority to Julia and she believes that it’s up to young designers to build awareness around this.

Julia aims to make all their garments locally, consequently supporting and uplifting females from surrounding communities. All the garments are made from recycled materials, and when clicking through the products on the website, it outlines which fabrics have been used in the manufacture process.

Collaborating with other creatives is also of great importance to Julia, which brought upon the launch of Creatives Collection, which is an annual collaboration that she does with a selected South African artist, creating a limited-edition range of swimsuits, designed by the artist. Which I think is just incredible as this provides a platform for young designers to have a voice and to experiment in a different medium. In turn this initiative also provides a means of making art more accessible, as not everyone can necessarily afford an original artwork, but they are likely to afford a swimsuit.


From the signature one piece swimsuits which are known for their flattering fit, to the monochromatic cheeky two pieces, you can see that care has been taken to make each garment the best quality you could expect from a professional like Julia. Summer just started looking a whole lot better and I personally cannot wait to see all the other collaborations and collections yet to come from this spirited go-getter.

Grab your locally made swimsuit here: https://juliabuchanan.com
and like their pages to keep up with new collections and news
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