Introducing the WGSN Future Makers: Sashenka Naicker

The Future Makers Mentorship Programme

Every week we’re proud to share with the WGSN community a little bit more about the individuals who make up the 2020/2021 WGSN Future Makers. This group of 26 people are the first ever to join the WGSN mentorship programme and have been selected among 1058 entries in a process that took two months of countless stories shared, emails exchanged and video interview chats.

Introducing the WGSN Future Makers: Sashenka Naicker

Hailing from Johannesburg, South Africa, Sashenka Naicker is a third year Bachelor of Commerce in Fashion student at Lisof: Fashion Retail & Design Academy. Drawing inspiration from art, literature and poetry, one of her most notable muses is Mexican painter and revolutionist Frida Kahlo, whose life and works are pivotal throughout Sashenka’s work. We caught up with Sashenka on her inspiration, dream job and the fashion industry’s role in creating a better future.

Let’s start with your passion. What drives you?

I believe fashion is so much more than the clothing we wear. It is a powerful tool that can influence culture, society, movements and more. It has the ability to express one’s opinions and personality. Being a part of the industry, I would be fortunate to have a hand in something truly significant.

When you’re creating, what is your biggest inspiration?

South Africa is a hub for fashion creatives and eclectic designers. A distinguished individual that truly inspires me to go above and beyond is Lisof Alumni Thebe Magugu (@thebemagugu), who embodies all I wish to become. He works hard and dreams big. Other influential designers I look up to include Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Lirkia Matoshi.

What attracted you to pursue your studies in fashion?

The fashion industry has such a massive influence on the environment and the climate crisis. With closed-loop supply chains and greener operations, the fashion industry can promote eco-awareness.

What are your recommendations to listen to while working?

When I work I love to listen to The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and anything from the ‘80s as I find it really energising and an instant mood-lifter. The Business of Fashion podcast and Dressed: The History of Fashion podcast are my favourites to tune into when painting.

What is your dream job?

My dream job lies in the trend analysis and forecasting stream. I aspire to work for major brands, aiding them in understanding their consumers more in-depth and remaining relevant by making conjectures about future styles and buying behavior.

In that sense, I’m looking forward to gaining experience from experts in the fashion sphere. This opportunity that WGSN has afforded me will equip me with the knowledge to enter the fashion field with confidence and only boost my zest for all things apparel. 

Frida Kahlo once said: “At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can”. This quote encourages me to push past my limitations each day and to always be brave. 

Sashenka is mentored by Yvonne Kostiak, our Senior Strategist of Activewear at WGSN Fashion based in London, England, who has over 14 years of experience in trend forecasting, colour design, materials and product development. 

Keep your eyes peeled as we reveal more WGSN Future Makers over the coming weeks, here on WGSN Insider. Can’t wait? Get to know other Future Makers.

Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.

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