Not many know what a fashion producer is and even fewer know what a fashion producer does. I met a fashion producer and immediately knew that I had to let people know about this rare job in South Africa. I set up an interview with the youngest Fashion Show Producer in South Africa, Cameron Arendse of Couture Concepts, and asked him the following questions:
1. What is your job and what exactly does that job entail?
I am a Fashion Show Producer. I work with designers and events/advertising companies to put together Fashion Shows/showcases/events. I conceptualise the show, staging, produce the music, choreography, lighting and AV elements.
2. You studied some other course in varsity right?
3. What course did you study and how did you discover it wasn’t for you?
I did a Bachelors in Social Science and majored in Social Anthropology, Industrial Sociology and Politics. I did Fashion Production simultaneously and really enjoyed both. I’m still intrigued by the Social Sciences and read up on it as a hobby.
4. How did you hear about this sort of job?
I interned at Cape Town Fashion Week and had no idea what to expect. After interning for a week, I learnt that it was production that I was doing. I was told that I have a talent for producing and was offered a long term apprenticeship with a world renowned producer.
5. This is not a famous job I hear there are like 4 people doing that job in South Africa?
Haha, yes! There are only a handful of skilled Fashion Show Producer’s in SA. Fortunately, I qualify as one of them. It’s not a formally trained job – hence the scarcity. Most people do shows without producers because they are expensive to hire but the disparity in quality is evident during these ‘shows’.
6. Not a lot of people know about this sort of job so what gifts, talents or skills do you need for this job?
Immense drive, detail orientated, stamina and a creative flair.
7. What is your most memorable failure and what lesson did you learn from that?
My failure was the first show I ever called (on comm sets). I was not involved in pre production – so i did not understand what was happening in the show. I learned that it’s always best to be involved from beginning to the end of the production process.
8. Is your current job your dream job or do you have some far-fetched dream job? (Mine is to be a famous singer, actor or dancer)
It is my dream job. I’ve started my own company, so now I’m pushing the entrepreneurial spirit. Hopefully, a lot of travelling (once again) will be part of my work.
9. If you knew what you know now what would you have done differently in the past?
I don’t regret things easily, so I would continue my life as is, but sometimes I wish I took a break between Varsity and work because I know that I will do this for the rest of my life.
10. What advice would you give to job seekers out there?
Make sure you become a jack of all trades but a master of (at least) one…
11. What advice would you give young entrepreneurs who are looking to start their own business?
Make sure you understand the business side of starting your own business. The practical things including budgeting and admin are key. If you are not too sure about it, find a good partner to assist.