I first met Craig Port more than 20 years ago. I was a student working as a waiter at a popular Cape Town restaurant. Tall, striking and with an air of confidence, he walked in exuding the promise of success.
Two decades down the line he’s delivered on that promise, and then some.
While the turbulent nineties saw much of the country’s local talent tuck tail and run, Craig chose to stay.
And he’s remained steadfast. The horrific and senseless murder of colleague and close friend Richard Bloom in 2006 gave him every reason to be bitter and disillusioned. Yet he stayed, choosing instead to establish the Richard Bloom foundation to champion public awareness around the trial.
He continued to create work for a local industry besieged with changing trade laws and the influx of cheap imported clothing, burdening already beleaguered local designers and manufacturers.
Craig Port’s steadfastness is the epitome of passion and dedication.
The iconic Port label, launched in 2004. Today, no glamorous pool party or beach is complete without the adornment of a Port creation. It’s become one of the country’s most popular brands, bringing “speedo chic” to swimwear collections.
Over a cyber coffee I got to know the man behind the label.
Q. Have you ever had a secret desire to be a dancer? And what kind of dancer would you be?
A. Yes. And it’s no secret either – animator!
Q. What is your favourite bar?
A. The Bar at the Duchess of Wisbeach
A. Catching Fire: The Hunger Games
A. Jaguar. Of course.
Q. Style tip?
A. Keep up with the times.
Q. Any pet aversions?
A. Yes, definitely bachelor or bachelorette parties!
Q. Favourite movie line?
A. “I see you shiver with anticipation” – Rocky Horror
Q. Have you ever used sex to further your career.
A. Definitely. And “no” I will not divulge details!!!
Q. Wardrobe essential?
A. Black leather loafers. My favourite? Gucci.
Q. What kind of movie star would you be?
A. Fabulously dressed!
Q. If you could be a woman who would you be?
A. Angelina Jolie. And no, it’s not because she’s married to Brad Pitt!
Q. Favourite coffee?
A. Lungo Nespresso. Naturally.
Q. Do you wax your back?
A. No need to.
A. Once a month. Every self respecting man should.
Q. Are you a fan of the “budgie smuggler”?
A. Only if you’re smuggling a parrot!!!
Q. What 3 items should be banned from every man's wardrobe?
A. Flared jeans, white leather shoes and cartoon satin boxers.
Q. Style icon and why?
A. Hubert Givenchy. His grace, his modesty and his elegant personal style set him apart – and his design ethos has never wavered.
Q. What do you enjoy most about designing swimwear?
A. I’m a bit of a beach bum myself and am happiest when I’m following the sun. So you could say I am well versed in what’s needed. I also like updating my own swimwear selection every season, so it’s also a personal interest.
Q.Can every man wear swimming briefs?
A.Definitely. We are all entitled to feel sexy.
Mr.Doveton: Hmm – I am not too sure about that. I personally feel swimming briefs are a privilege not a right! Right?