Remember the Ruff Ryder days? The Eve sitcom, the blond hairs that influenced a lot of young girls into bleaching their hairs? Award winning hip-hop artist, actress, designer and MAC Viva Glam Spokesperson Eve, graced Botswana with her presence to Make a Difference with WesSIde and Orange.
The Voice’s Fashionista Mpho Laing could not miss the opportunity to do a woman-to-woman chat on the entertainment industry, the challenges and beauty of being a woman and of course, fashion. What makes the girl Eve tick? Find out through this light-hearted chat between two girls.
Fashionista: Your fashion label, Fetish. Tell me a little bit about it.
Eve: Hmmm…I don’t have it anymore. I left my partners last year, we had a horrible misunderstanding and I decided to kind of wait for a year, after my new album, to start a my new fashion label.
Fashionista: What sort of style are you planning for this new fashion line, and how will it be different from your previous one?
Eve: More contemporary. I think the previous label was more juvenile, just because it was mass-marketed in bigger department stores. It was a nice line but it didn’t represent me, it didn’t represent the things that I wore. I think this line will represent me, not so grown up, but things you can see me wearing. The first line didn’t have my influence at all, so this one, people will be able to see my influence.
Fashionista: Does this mean you’ll be designing the whole line yourself or you’ll hire personnel for this and that?
Eve: I’ll definitely hire personnel but a lot of ideas will be mine. With the first line I kind of sat in meetings with people and said,’ yes’ to this or ‘no’ to that. This time around, I want to touch fabrics, which I only did a little of before.
Fashionista: With the contemporary style, who would you say will be your target market?
Eve: It’s hard to say age-wise, but I would say the young adult, maybe in their 20s up to 35, even more. And with Fetish it’s funny because even though I said it was juvenile, a lot of older women wore it. So, it’s hard to put age on it. But I think it’ll be the fashion-forward woman, the confident woman, the woman who is professional. The kind of pieces I want to make will accommodate a woman who sometimes wants to go straight to a dinner after the office, maybe put something on or take something off and you are ready to go out that night.
Fashionista: Local fashion lovers may want to know about the pressures and excitement of dressing up to star-studded events such as the awards.
Eve: Haha! Like you said, pressure and excitement, those are the perfect words. Of course, you want to look your best, so the excitement comes with looking through your clothes and deciding if you want to wear a dress or cat-suit that time. The pressure comes with, what is the size of the cat-suit you want to wear, is it going to photograph well?
Fashionista: Can you take me through getting the outfit right or sometimes finding oneself on the fashion boo-boo list.
Eve: Right! (giggles) And I have been on that boo-boo list, oh God! I have been. And at times you look back and say, ‘I thought I was cute that day,’ and they just burst your bubble. And you know what makes me mad about those fashion lists? A lot of times I’ve seen that, in person, most of those fashion critics look horrible, oh my God!
Fashionista: They do actually, and one wonders- where do they get off commenting on fashion, right?
Eve: Yes, where do they get off and who appointed them? (laughs) Who on earth said to them, you are the fashion person? Sometimes it makes me mad.
Fashionista: You’ve grown as a performer and a businesswoman (fashion label and a MAC make-up HIV/AIDS campaign), as well as a stint in acting on your sitcom, Eve, that we watched a great deal out here. And most of artists seem to take this route of acting, singing, fashion and even perfumes. What sort of bond do you think these arts have, in being able to lure artists in this same direction?
Eve: I think it comes down to longevity, it’s one of those things where you say, ‘wow, these doors have opened.’ I have been in the music industry for 11years and the music industry has changed so much, especially with the internet, you can’t depend on your record sales anymore. So it works for artists, to make yourself more a brand, and not just a singing artist. And works hand-in-hand too, because you may see that person in their video and it works crossway with their line.
Fashionista: I know women in the entertainment industry complain a lot about the hurdles they go through because of gender issues. But I want to hear about the positive things that only women can enjoy as part of this industry.
Eve: Hmmm, oh well! Maybe, but it is hard. I’ll have to say because there aren’t so many women in the industry who are at the top of their game, there are only a handful, so in that way that’s a positive thing. Because when you get to a certain place it feels good to say, I am a woman and I’ve done ten times better than a male. When you are in this industry you have to work harder, unfortunately it’s like that. And once you get there and you’ve that level of respect, that is the best feeling, no one can ever take that away from you. And then also being a woman and feeling that you are representing other women, like you speak for other women out there. I always feel like there is a girl or a few women out there that maybe connect with me because we’ve gone through the same thing.
Fashionista: I want to talk to Eve the girl now.
Eve: Yes! (giggles)
Fashionista: As much as we come across as strong women, we all have that little girl inside of us that is filled with fears and fantasies that at times yearn to come out, but somehow we hold back because of societal pressures and expectations. How would you describe the little girl inside of Eve?
Eve: (giggles) That is so funny, very interesting, no one has ever asked me that. Hmmm, how can I describe her? She is definitely goofy. It so funny, the woman in me has gone through so many hardships and heartaches, the girl in me is still really naive and gullible to people. Like she always believes everyone is good, but I would never want to lose that. But also since I’ve been in this industry, she keeps me jaded because the woman in me sometimes thinks ‘oh no,’ but the girl in me will be like, ‘oh my God, I think this is a cool experience.’ Like me coming here, she’s excited about coming to Botswana and wondering how it’ll be. She keeps me excited!
Fashionista: As women we have our bodies as our greatest asset, but we also have a very interesting relationship with our hairs. You’ve gone through the short natural hair, to the blond and weaves. Can you take me through your journey with your hair?
Eve: Hair hair hair! (laughs) It is the never ending battle. Why, why? You know it is funny, my boyfriend keeps asking me, ‘What is your problem, why do you keep changing your hair so much?’ And I am like, ‘I don’t know.’ It’s an expression, it’s like putting on a piece of jewellery. When I have a good-hair day, it’s all good, but when I have a bad-hair day, don’t speak to me. I can’t think straight, I don’t know what to put on. Like when I saw your hair today, I was thinking, ‘oh my God! Her hair is so good! I wonder if I could do that.’ I mean, I want to cut my hair up, put more hair in. Right now I am on a lot of weaves because I travel so much, I put a lot of heat on my hair, so I don’t want to colour my hair. With a lot of weaves, my hair is growing, so I wonder, am I going to cut it off. It’s always a constant battle, constant battle. (laughs)
Fashionista: Fashion evolves, and with style, it’s either you have it or you don’t. How would you say fashion has influenced your personal style over the years?
Eve: I think you can tell what point I am in my life by what I might be wearing. There are times, especially at the beginning of my career where I mostly wore things that hid me more, like I wore bigger things with bigger coats or more make up. Harsh things, but as I got older I started pulling out of make up or pulling out of an outfit that would take me over, because I started knowing who I am, more as a woman as I grow.
Fashionista: Definitely! And what can you never be caught dead without in your handbag?
Eve: Oh, that’s good! Definitely perfume, I always, always have perfume. Anything for my lips, definitely something for my lips and my cellphone! (laughs)