Ten at 10: Derick Koen!

Derick Koen (@Herr_Koen)

So, this Friday our GoTrendSA Ten at 10 session goes to the most incredible multi-man that we’ve known for a while now, Derick Koen! Derick, who’s recently moved to the Cape Town has started in the marketing department of popular online retail store Takealot, but he comes from a strong fashion background, so naturally being a trend spotter/setter we needed to sit him down and get the low down on all things fashionable for Summer 2014!

GoTrendSA: Derick, can we just say this interview is way overdue! For everyone who doesn’t know you, introduce yourself!

Derick: It all started with Art, the singular force that formed the person I am today. Art taught me about the power of suggestion, re-invention, expression and the melancholy. Looking back on my school years, Art was a subject just like any other, but at University I realised that Art, and all its applied forms had immense power and influence in every culture, past and present, always spearheaded by a select few visionaries that tapped into the zeitgeist. It was this discovery that edged me to become an Art Director. Being a naturally restless soul and not much of a wistful person, I move on, and I look to the future, although the impact of my studies live with me to this very day. Anything that exposes me to something new or different is paramount to my existence in that impressive instant, be it fashion, music, photography or design. I usually ended up in a career that mirrored my biggest desire at a specific time, always triggering a process of asking questions, making mistakes, growing up and moving on. Currently I am still in the Marketing Industry, and I am exploring any new avenues that may appear as the world spins off into the future. I fill up my free time with searching out new and cutting edge music, I get lost on Pinterest, usually ending up with my eye fixed against a camera viewfinder, and on occasion interrupting these activities with hunting an gathering good food.

GoTrendSA: Ok, so we know you just made the hop over to live in Cape Town, how’s that been going?

Derick: I still pinch myself when I wake up every morning. It was quite a process to end up CapeTownLife2here, leaving Gauteng where I spent most of my adult life was something that I never expected to do, but nothing ever felt more right. In hindsight, I think this process was triggered a year ago when I was in New York. Naturally, it would be blasphemous to compare the two cities, but the time I spent in New York changed me, and it reminded me that I have experienced the same sense of old world culture in Cape Town, and I needed to take a turn into this energy now. Johannesburg offered me its best but being here made realise that there is so much more to explore, than what I have known by staying in one place. I love Cape Town’s irreverent and effortless sense of style, and I sometimes find myself staring at Table Mountain, and for a split second it sits there, almost too perfectly imposing to be real.

GoTrendSA: So you were recently just nominated for the GQ Top 50 Stylish men, what does style mean to you?

Derick: It usually boils down to the age old adage of doing what works on you. But sartorially speaking, its the person wearing the clothes that make or break it. I think we all end up chasing the same trends ad infinitum. Suddenly you will see a girl in a coffee shop fluttering so effortlessly in what she is wearing, and when you finally realise that she’s not wearing any trends, you know in that moment, that she’s the coolest thing around. In a world of trend repetition, its the person wearing “themselves” that will end up drawing attention. Just do your own thing. You will never lose.

GoTrendSA: Since we’re on this topic, what are your summer 2014 fashion must haves?

Derick: I always fall back on a great pair of sunglasses. Even though they are usually the last thing you consider, they do have the power to change the look of an outfit entirely. Sunglasses seem to have their own flow of trends, so it does give you the option of brining your summer look up to date with the right pair. Now that I am living at the coast, I am looking forward to balmy days filled with retro patterned and baked in hued shorts paired with a classic white t-shirt.

GoTrendSA: Best and worst current fashion trend?

Dericks favourite hiking looks.
Dericks favourite hiking looks.

Derick: I love the “outdoors” or “hiking” look thats currently in fashion for European Fall, where Boots and casual shoes are adorned with Timberland-esque laces, and mountaineering detailing. Worst fashion trend still goes to clothing that doesn’t leave much to the imagination, and that counts whether you are a Man or a Woman.

GoTrendSA: Living in Cape Town has it’s advantages, where are some of your best chill out spots?

Derick: I often find myself at The Power and the Glory in Tamboerskloof. It is one of those

Power and Glory.
Power and Glory.

places that manages to be more than the sum of its parts. It also doesn’t hurt that everything they serve is nuanced and exemplary whether it is a salad, a brownie or their Rose and Geranium cordial (Obsessed). I have also been introduced to Clarke’s recently, again I am in awe of the simplistic ease in which Capetonians execute everything. For a quick breakfast catchup with friends, I always go to Starlings Cafe in Claremont, a bustling, sunny and homey space. When the night beckons, Orphanage is an old favourite with its interesting cocktail menu, conjuring images of a Victorian era Cape Town.

GoTrendSA: You’ve recently joined the marketing team at popular online retailer, Takealot. How has your experience been?

Derick: By far my biggest learning curve career wise. The pace in E-commerce is relentless, especially when comparing it to my departure from Fashion industry. Marketing seems to be evolving at a rapid rate, especially in the way that companies invent ways of reaching their consumers. Definitely exciting times ahead!

GoTrendSA: Being in the media and having such a demanding job can take its toll! What are your secrets to looking and feeling good?

Catch Derick on Instagram and Twitter: @Herr_Koen.

Derick: Well, I listen to a lot of Enya these days! But on a serious note, I had to adapt my skincare routine since moving to Cape Town. Naturally I find myself outdoors more often, so I use Bergasol’s range of Suncare, especially for its amazing citrus scent. Dermalogica is another mainstay in my life. I do splurge on fragrances as it forms part of the way I choose to present and dress myself on a particular day. It is always a great confidence boost when people compliment you on your fragrance.

GoTrendSA: If we want to see all the excitement of your life, where can we find you online?

Derick: I live mainly on Instagram and Twitter, and can be found at @Herr_Koen on both platforms.

GoTrendSA: Lastly Derick, what is your essential Mantra?

Derick: Always wear your invisible crown…

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