A few years ago I attended my first fashion week at the Sandton Convention Centre. I remember walking through the various stalls looking at the designers when the most beautiful, bright bow-ties caught my eye. This was my first introduction to Babatunde. Since then owner and designer Gareth Cowden has grown his brand not only in SA but all over the world with the likes of Solange Knowles wearing his designs.

Funnily enough while researching the brand I found a picture of Craig in one of the shoots he did a while back wearing the label…and some weird glasses.


The nicest thing about Babatunde is…

People’s response to it. And the fact that everything is made locally.

1. Who are you and where did you grow up?

I am Gareth Cowden, I was born in Springs but grew up in Randburg.

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2. What does Babatunde mean?

Babatunde is a Yoruba name, directly translated it means ‘ the father comes back’.

3. More and more I am starting to see Babatunde worn by celebrities and sold overseas. What does this feel like did you ever expect the brand to get this big?

It’s very humbling. And exciting at the same time. I think anyone who starts any project dreams and fantasizes about that particular project growing and gaining world domination. I wouldn’t say I expected it, but I definitely did think about it and dreamt it might happen.

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4. Any big projects coming up?

I am travelling to Ghana next week to source fabrics for the next range. For me that is the next big project – getting the right fabrics, then getting the new samples ready and then shooting the new lookbook.

5. Do you have a favourite Babatunde piece?

It changes fairly often. At the moment the beach umbrellas are my favourite.

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