The Private Lives of Geniuses: Odette Steele the Texile Designer

The Private Lives of Geniuses: Odette Steele the Texile Designer

When asked “For what fault have you most toleration?,” Proust replied, “For the private lives of geniuses.” Popularised by (though not created by) him, the Proust Questionnaire is believed to reveal an individual’s true nature. What better way then to learn more about inspiring emerging creatives for our Representation Issue?  

In this round of ‘ The Private Lives of Geniuses’, we learn more about the Creative Director of eponymous brand Odette Steele who creates beautiful garments by manipulating recycled and waste fabrics through weaving or the use of embellishment to create a fusion of various materials culminating in a handcrafted luxurious product.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A decision

What is your greatest fear?

Never being a mother

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Starting something and not finishing it

What is your greatest extravagance?

Experiences. And a beautiful Erdem Coat! (no regrets)

What is your current state of mind?

Endure, focus, do the damn thing!

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?


Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Oh my days! Or yes, but…

What or who is the greatest love of your life?


Which talent would you most like to have?

To be able to sing

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I don’t think that I have achieved anything great yet… When I do I’ll let you know.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?


What is your most treasured possession?

My passport

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?


Who are your favourite writers?

Dale Carnegie and Paulo Coelho

Who is your hero of fiction?

Nancy Drew

Who are your heroes in real life?

My parents and siblings. Cheesy, but true

What is it that you most dislike?

Going to work or going home when it’s raining

What is your greatest regret?

I think I am still young so I don’t have any regrets, and I hope it stays that way!

How would you like to die?

Peacefully in my sleep, with my family with me

What is your motto?

Love God, Love People, Love Yourself.

From the XXY Team:

What is something you want to accomplish in your life that you haven’t yet?

To influence the textile industry and culture in the Southern African region

Who or what has inspired your career the most?

It was the only thing I felt I was good at

What advice would you give to emerging creatives?

Don’t measure yourself on the restrictions and cultures of the industry. If you have enough passion, you can be the change you want to see


Interview by  Weruzochi Chinasa 

Fashion Editor

Visuals not owned by XXY Magazine