terrence bray - designing for royalty

South African Designer Terrence Bray has earned his stripes.

A stalwart in the South African fashion scene and on international fashion scene for over 25 years, he has showcased stunning collections at Sanlam SA Fashion Week since its inception in 1999, SA Men’s Fashion Week, Durban Fashion Fair and even the very first prestigious Igedo International Fashion Fair in Dusseldorf, Germany to name but a few.

Graduating at the Durban University of Technology in 1995. Terrence’s quest for perfection sees each of his collections evolving, reflecting the cutting edge style and sophistication he has become synonymous with.

With his pieces including ready-to-wear pieces, bridal couture, menswear, and occasional wear. structural strength, understated sophistication, comfort and superb quality are the golden thread that runs through his creations.

Terrence’s ever evolving couture stays is both on trend and timeless.

Terrence Bray’s career is a rollercoaster ride that only seems to go up.

After being asked by Charlene Wittstock, Princess of Monaco to design her South African Ceremony wedding dress in 2011 and British Vogue naming Terrence “South African Label to buy” Terrence proved to the international fashion aficionados he was a force to be reckoned with!

After initially creating a custom piece for the Princess Charlene in 2005 for her first appearance with Prince Albert at the Croix Rouge ball, Terrence and the Princess established a close working relationship, with Terrence creating a number of custom pieces for her over the years.

Terrence’s stunning creation  for the Princess for Monaco’s National day in November 2020, a dark purple blue ankle-length dress coat with fuchsia lining and accents in double cashmere, with slits on the sleeves and back, styled with black suede Jimmy Choo pumps, a black Dior Parisian beret in rabbit felt and an Akris Anouk clutch in Fuchsia epitomize why Terrence is a firm favourite in the House of Grimaldi.

 With it’s understated sophistication and classic Terrence Bray Structure, and teamed with fashion monoliths such as Christian Dior and Jimmy Choo, this was an ensemble most designers dream about being part of!

Isaac Lediga chats with Durban born Terrence about his career.

Isaac: what has been your biggest inspiration throughout your career?
Terrence: My biggest inspiration throughout my career would have to be the educators that patiently and selflessly passed on their knowledge and my mother who showed me how to dream things into reality

Isaac: What is a signature Terrence Bray design characteristic that has remained the same throughout the years?
Terrence: Definitely structural details.

Isaac: What changes constantly with every collection?
Terrence: Concept and Colour

Isaac: What can we expect from your next collection?
Terrence: My label is on pause at the moment with my having relocated to Monaco but in my next collection you can expect maturity, restraint and quiet confidence.

Isaac: What advice would you give a young aspiring designer?
Terrence: Think hard about why you want to be a designer, if it’s for the “Fame & Fortune” you are in the wrong field, if it’s about the craft and working hard to understand it and getting better, then focus on that and keep moving forward, you will never stop learning.

Isaac: What’s the common misconception about Terrence Bray?
Terrence: Career wise that it came easy to me and personally that I’m frivolous.

Isaac: How has broadening your clientele internationally impacted your work?
Terrence: It has totally changed my attitude toward myself and my work, it has given me the confidence in my ability and I have experienced genuine respect for my craft

Isaac: What do you want your work to say about you as person?
Terrence:: I want it to speak the truth that I am not perfect and also that it’s perfectly okay.
That if one thing moves in the right direction then I am on the right track and I want it to show the love I have for it.

Isaac: Who is your ideal celebrity you would love to make a custom creation for?
Terrence: Tilda Swinston! .

Terrence Bray now lives in Monaco and France, and continues to work with Princess Charlene.

An inspiration for our incredible pool of local talent.

If you can dream it, you can be it!

Images supplied and/or approved by designer.
Credit to Vaughan Treyvellan – Photographer and The Royal Couturier.