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My story

Laverne Wyatt-Skriubakken – Creative director and founder

“mZansi-Life represents my personal philosophy and that is to enjoy the “Southern Life”. This is a life of sunshine, creativity, optimism, colour and design. My goal is to bring these ideals from South Africa to Norway.”

The founder is Laverne, an Art Director from Durban, South Africa who has always had a love for South African design. Having moved to Norway, she missed colourful, contemporary ‘pro-Africa’ fashion and thus decided to start a label that promotes this type of style. The label is called mZansi-Life. The heart of mZansi-Life is the designers, all of which are talented, independent and South African.

To keep it special and personal, only a few of each item are imported each season. These are then available through the website but most importantly, through our network of fun mZansi-Life parties which incorporate music, art and fashion in Oslo. To attend these or find out more subscribe to the newsletter or just mail directly.

Thank you for taking the time to find our more about mZansi-Life and the mZansi-Madame. If you are a designer, or just a lover of South African fashion and would love to chat, feel free to say hi!

Work Experience


Associate Art DirectorDurban, South Africa
Jan 2007 – Apr 2008The Hardy Boys Advertising Agency

A position in which I was mainly responsible for advertising and branding in coordination with the marketing team’s project requests. I also assisted the Art Director with mentoring a graphic design team of four people.
Other responsibilities included:

– Present design proposals to marketing partners.
– Participate in frequent brainstorming activities with strategy, copywriting and creative team.
– Responsible for implementing marketing creative project briefs within provided marketing strategy and brand vision.
– Responsible for design concept and content development.
– Work closely with team members for the development of content and design on major branding projects.
– Brief and occasionally direct Copywriters, Illustrators and Photographers.


Mid Level DesignerMalta, Malta
Apr 2007 – Dec 2007Switch Brand Communications

It was a working holiday job in a small agency in Malta. I formed part of a team of senior designers in which we serviced corporate and publishing clients. Each designer was responsible for seeing work through from concept to production.

Design disciplines:

– Editorial design
– Copywriting
– Packaging design
– Web design graphics
– Corporate Identity


Mid Level DesignerDurban, South Africa

Jun 2005 – Feb 2007The Hardy Boys Advertising AgencyFormed part of a team of five middleweight to senior designers servicing Food and Beverage clients. My responsibility was to focus on:

– Print design
– Brainstorming seasonal brand promotions
– Point of sale graphics

Junior DesignerDurban, South Africa

Nov 2003 – May 2005Incite Brand CommunicationI was hired as a junior to assist a Creative Director who worked from home. Over a period of two years we grew to become a company of 11 people.

During this period I learned about:

– Servicing clients and handling accounts
– Billing and invoicing
– Model and food styling
– Sourcing and briefing illustrators and copywriters
– Corporate identity development
– Editorial design
– Packaging design


  • Diploma in Graphic Design & AdvertisingDurban, South Africa
    Jan 2000 – Jan 2003Durban Institute of TechnologyI completed a National Diploma in Graphic Design and Advertising. The course was three years and focused on the following subjects: Art of Drawing, History of Graphic Design, Graphic Design (Major), Techniques (Major), Photography, Perceptual Studies, Form and Colour Studies, Graphic Interpretation and Advertising.
  • Foundation Arts & Design courseDurban, South Africa
    Feb 1999 – Nov 1999Durban Institute of TechnologyI completed a Foundational Course in Art and Design offered to matriculants who have an artistic aptitude but who have not been afforded the opportunity of a relevant art course during Secondary school. During this year I learnt about: Sculpture, Painting, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Photography and Styling
  • Awards
    Kohler Packaging award in 2003 for best student design
    – Storm advertising award in 2003 for best student brand concept
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