The Rise of Ryan Keys

The fashion designer has gone from strength to strength building his empire, has launched a capsule collection with actress Enhle Mbali and has partnered with DOVE.

Ryan Keys always knew he would be a designer from a young age. Growing up in Bryanston, Johannesburg, it was his love of photography that catapulted him into the fashion world, he even interned for a few fashion houses at the tender age of 14-years-old.

He went on to further his fashion studies at the Spero Villioti Elite Design Academy, qualifying top of his class, and went on to attend the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York City.

Fast forward to today, Ryan Keys has established a successful name for himself within the industry. Having opened his first haute couture store, Keys Fashion in Parkhurst in May 2014, Ryan has secured another prime position with his now based store in Hyde Park Corner Shopping Centre.

His gorgeous dresses are the envy of many. So much so, they’ve been worn by politicians and famous A-list celebrities like Bonang Matheba, Minnie Dlamini and Khanyi Mbau. And who can blame them for choosing Ryan as their preferred stylist? When it comes to haute couture, Ryan’s passion is fueled by his desire to design exquisite, stylish and detailed garments. He sources the best materials and embroideries from all over the world in his quest to create masterpieces that are unique as well as timeless.

“The Ryan Keys customer is a lady who knows who she is and is not afraid to stand out,” explains Ryan, adding, “She wants a beautiful garment made by exquisite fabrics and wants something tailored perfectly to her body.”

Since last year, Ryan has launched his first ever men’s collection, showcasing an underwear, swimwear and gym wear collection at October’s SA Fashion Week, and describes his style of menswear as ultra sports luxe. He has also collaborated with Black Coffee’s wife and actress, Enhle Mbali on a capsule collection adding that she is exactly the type of woman he always wanted to work with.

“I met her just before her wedding through my publicist and she is an absolute dream. There aren’t many celebrities I can say are willing to bend over backwards for someone. Not many people know Enhle is a designer by trade. She has the vision, she’s sexy, she’s cute, she inspires me to work harder and I wanted to push the boundaries with her because of what an incredible woman she is.”

Most recently, Ryan teamed up with Dove this past April during this year’s SAFW Spring/Summer ’18 and put Dove Invisible Dry to the ultimate test on haute couture worn by his models, as they got runway ready. The collaboration stressed the importance of using Dove Invisible Dry to ensure care was taken while handling the garments.

Speaking about the alignment, Ryan says, “Dove wants to celebrate colour, colour that hasn’t faded due to sweat stains, and what better way than to do so than to create the first antiperspirant that is invisible on colour,” adding, “Whilst it provides 48-hour protection, it doesn’t leave any marks on clothes and contains all the goodness of Dove including its unique ¼ moisturing cream, to give you soft, smooth beautiful underarms, which is why I chose to partner with Dove for my latest collection.”

So, what’s next on the agenda for Ryan? Apart from keeping himself busy, he still has dreams to open up a few more couture stores across South Africa and expand his brand abroad. But for now, Ryan continues to remain one of the top fashion designers in the country.

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