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  • Wanique Block

The BAM Collective: A spirited approach to luxury fashion in South Africa

Following the release of his latest collection KINETICISM 24, we caught up with South African luxury fashion designer Jacques Bam.

Born and bred in the vibrant city of Centurion, creative director and founder of South African luxury brand The BAM Collective, Jacques Bam has always had an innate passion and love for fashion. Designing since the tender age of nine, Jacques' fascination for fashion and design would later inspire the young artist to pursue a career in fashion, enrolling as a BA Fashion Design student at STADIO the School of Fashion.

In between classes, Jacques further developed his craft interning in the fields of costume design and styling at various acclaimed fashion houses in South Africa. It was at this point, where the budding designer, who was also on South Africa's fashion radar, won the SA Fashion Week student competition in 2018.

In 2019, Jacques Bam launched his luxury eponymous fashion label The BAM Collective. Deeply seated in its rooted love for South Africa, The BAM Collective is a ready-to-wear contemporary label that caters to all genders and bodies.

Jacques Bam wearing MORPHISM from his SS 22/23 collection

The BAM Collective 'MORPHISM 22/23'. Image via Instagram (@bamcollective and @pierre.tography)

"The BAM Collective was born in 2019 out of a deep rooted love for the liveliness of South Africa, the exuberance of her people and the profound impact that clothing has on our psyche".

Since its inception The BAM Collective has cultivated a unique design process using bold colours and prints, rich textures, striking silhouettes and experimental details that explore individuality and defy the status quo. Crafted with intention, each garment designed by The BAM Collective draws inspiration from Jacques' take on everyday reality, specifically that of whom and what South Africa embodies.

The BAM Collective has re-imagined ideologies around fashion and couture, and its design DNA is embedded in taking a "spirited" approach to fashion. We've seen this with how each collection ever created is reflective of who and what The BAM Collective stands for, but more specifically this is evident with how each collection is masterfully immersed in the art of storytelling.

The BAM Collective KINETICISM 24. Image courtesy of The BAM Collective.

Presented on the first day of SA Fashion Week SS24, Jacques' new collection, ‘KINETICISM 24’ draws inspiration from the kinetic and optic art movements that were popularised between the 1920s and 1950s. The collection explores the idea of dynamism within clothing through the use of various physical and illusionary motions. This is evident with how metallics, fringing, 3D forms, floral motifs, sheer fabrics, optic eco prints and the contrast between the organic and synthetic are used to explore and capture the ways in which movement is displayed both tangibly and optically.

Holistically, the collection is said to stand as a metaphor for growth and the ways in which we explore and develop individually whilst navigating the realities of life.

Editorial shoot from The BAM Collective, KINETICISM 24

The BAM Collective KINETICISM 24. Image via Instagram (@bamcollective)

"Taking a spirited approach to South African luxury".

Jacques Bam's meticulous take on craftsmanship and innovation has cemented him as one of many talented designers to hail from South Africa.

For more on the talented Jacques Bam, NIGHTSTAND SERVICE interviewed the fashion designer to discuss his journey into fashion and design, his inspirations as well discussing his creative processes.

Wanique Block: Who is Jacques Bam?

Jacques Bam: I am a 27 year old fashion designer from Pretoria, South Africa. I am currently the owner of a small independent South African fashion brand called The BAM Collective.

WB: What was the defining moment when you realised that you had a passion for fashion and design?

JB: I wish I had a more exciting answer for this! I actually just always wanted to be a fashion designer, there was no defining moment for me really. I started sketching clothing as a young child and have not stopped since.

WB: What inspired you to create and develop your own luxury brand?

JB: I always wanted to be a fashion designer, I have always been quite strong willed and free-spirited as well. So really the best way for me to do this was to start my own brand. The BAM Collective was born in 2019 out of a deep rooted love for the liveliness of South Africa, the exuberance of her people and the profound impact that clothing has on our psyche.

WB: How would you define your design DNA? 

JB: The BAM Collective’s design DNA specialises in taking a spirited approach to South African luxury.

Creative Director and Founder of The BAM Collective, Jacques Bam.

Image courtesy of The BAM Collective.

WB: What do you think is the one thing that makes the BAM Collective stand out?

I think it is the unapologetic way in which we create clothes. We always design with boldness and impact in mind.

WB: Tell me about your creative processes. What is the process like when developing a new collection?

JB: It is really quite different each season. We usually have a point of departure each season which informs the whole collection: It could be a print, colour, fabric, concept or even just a title. We use this really to inform all the subsequent designs and choices within the collection. Once I have all my ideas and fabrics or colours together I often sketch and then start with creating some mock-ups of the more complex ideas. From here I would create patterns and cut garments that my tailor and I then discuss and construct, often going back and forth until we get the version we are happiest with. From here we have fittings two weeks before our show and our look-book and campaign shoot a week before the show, to ensure that everything is ready to launch on our show date.

WB: Throughout your career as a fashion designer, you've never been afraid to experiment with bold colours, silhouettes and textures, Where do you draw your inspiration from?

JB: I just naturally draw inspiration from the uplifting personality of South Africans as this is what I am surrounded by and what my life has always been informed by. I try not to look at what other designers are doing. I would like our pieces to feel more authentic to us and timeless in the sense that it would forever exist within its own universe.

The BAM Collective KINETICISM 24. Image courtesy of The BAM Collective.

WB: SA Fashion Week is coming up, I can only imagine how intense it has been for you. What can we expect from the Bam Collective?

JB: You can expect us to do what we do best. [To be] bold, exuberant and exciting. Each season we try to improve upon what we did the year before. Further developing our signatures while introducing a new idea or two each season (this season in particular it will be all about movement and texture).

WB: With this new collection, what's the one thing you hope people take away from the garments you have created?

I really hope that people recognise the craftsmanship and time that went into these pieces. We really tried to push ourselves this season. I also hope that each person can see a piece of themselves within this collection as well as to take note of the fact that we create garments that allow them to be the most authentic, fearless versions of themselves.

WB: How do you hope to alter the fashion industry?

JB: To me I would just like to create growth and joy both for the clients who wear our products and for those who work behind the scenes. It is no secret that South Africa has a struggling economy, fuelled by a very high rate of unemployment. I hope that The BAM Collective can help by creating jobs that not only provide financial support to our employees, but also give them a sense of pride, joy and peace within their work. To us, humans will always be the most important part of anything we do. 

The BAM Collective 'MORPHISM 22/23'. Image via Instagram (@bamcollective and @pierre.tography)


Are you passionate about exploring the intricate worlds of beauty, sex, fashion, wellness, and culture? Do you belong to a marginalized community and have unique perspectives and stories to share? If so, Nightstand Service is eagerly seeking contributing writers like you! Get in touch:


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