Paul, founder of Can Pep Rey took a trip across Namibia with his Dad in March 2021. He captured the picturesque landscapes of the Namib desert, vivid sunsets, wildlife, the arid vegetation and organic rock formations.
Traveling with the essential Can Pep Rey Sun garments, Paul decided to connect with a local stylist Kati, otherwise known as Kati Cotton Eater to collaborate on a shoot. Meeting up with Kati and his friends was very natural and the creative process flowed, lighting tyres, dancing and ending the day in a local bar drinking and eating together. We caught up with Kati to talk about his career, Namibia and styling for Can Pep Rey.
Paul’s book Namibia is now available for order.
I’m a stylist and an overall creative. What I do is more than just putting clothes on people, it’s an art..what’s the occasion, what’s the aura, mixing and matching outfits is a process.
Will you explain the story behind the CAN PEP REY shoot in Namibia?
For me everything was unexpected, I was having family time watching news bulletin and I got an Instagram DM from Paul at Can Pep Rey saying he has come across my page on Instagram and that he is in Namibia only for one day. There were a few woman's pieces he wanted me to shoot, so basically it was a collaboration. At first I was not sure if its true or a scam, so I went on the Can Pep Rey page and scanned through the page. I immediately gave a green light because the aesthetics could relate to the Kati Cotton Eating brand.
We set up a date of the shoot, then we linked up on set and magic was created.
How has Namibia influenced your creative work?
Namibia is a very cultural nation, the people and its national inhabitants makes it easy for my styling to stand out as it’s always looked at as unique. My style is not the typical one, it’s not the ordinary one… and my people are always left with questions and that’s what inspires me… the curiosity from the people.
How do you use clothing as a form of self expression?
Through the Cotton Eating culture, I'm able to use non verbal communication as part of my personality. Getting dressed is a daily routine that I do without even thinking twice, some more consciously than others. It has become a part of my identity. I get dressed with the intention of feeling good in my own skin, to embrace my body, and communicate who I am through the style of clothes I choose in a daily basis. My clothing of choice is my personal potential armour, especially on days when I do not feel good on a day. The clothes I put on my body reflect the way I would want people to perceive me and, most importantly, how we see ourselves. Also, the clothes and colours you choose to wear can even influence your cognitive.
What is the story behind your name Cotton Eater?
Cotton Eating is a culture of different creatives that uses fashion as a form of expression, looking different or apart from the rest. I got inspired by the Late Ricky Rick, South Africa's first Cotton Eater who is also the founder of the culture. I grew into it from the age of 16 when I started dressing differently and it came with a lot of criticism, it was not easy but I always had a vision and a mission to make I stand out.
I gave it to myself the Kati Cotton Eater (Namibia's first Cotton Eater and Windhoek's only Cotton Eater)
The name grew so big and its stuck on me. I'm grateful and I can't wait for the whole world to see what I have to offer.
Photography: Paul Conradi