Abigail Rands is a designer. She is passionate about the way in which design has the capacity to change the world we live in to create a better future. She started at Bridge House in 1995 and matriculated in 2005 as one of the top students and as Head Girl. She played tennis and 1st team hockey at school and loved arts and drama. She grew up and lived in Franschhoek for 18 years. Both she and her brother, Svend, were among the first 54 pupils when Bridge House started under a tree in Simondium.
Abbey took a gap year after school, working in London for six months and back-packed through Europe for the remainder of the year. She studied fashion design at Elizabeth Galloway Institute in Stellenbosch and graduated with a Higher Diploma in design 2007-2009 while studying photography at the Cape Town School of Photography. She moved to Bali in Indonesia for a year to design swimwear for a French brand, Thaikila, (formerly Blue Glue), made from recycled plastic bottles and she worked as a photographer for fashion brands on the island, surfing in her free time. She followed her passion for travelling and the mountains and did a snow-skiing season working in Colorado and then back-packed from Mexico to Argentina for six months using public transport.
In 2012 she moved to Italy and lived in Florence for four years where she studied at Polimoda and graduated with a Master’s degree in Brand Management. She taught design thinking in the Master’s programs at Polimoda in Florence for three years in the subjects of brand management, luxury brand management, communication and trend forecasting courses. She did brand management consultancy for the Ferragamo brand who own Polimoda and started Trend-Tank with three of her students, doing trend forecasting research projects in design, fashion and other lifestyle applications for different brands.
Other interests include art, photography, surfing, snow-skiing, sailing, the African bush, animals and environmental sustainability and community social projects like a non-profit artist in residence programme, recently set up in Tulbagh.
She speaks English, Italian and Afrikaans and has travelled widely to over sixty countries but loves Africa and has chosen to make a home here. She is currently the Marketing Director for Twee Jonge Gezellen which produces South Africa’s top selling bubbly, Krone MCC. She also serves as a non-executive director at Vinimark Holdings and runs a passion project, The Robertson Small Hotel. Her partner Alessandro Gigli has a doctorate in music and has played classical flute in orchestras in Florence, Berlin and Budapest. Abbey and Ale live in central Cape Town and have recently become parents to a baby boy, Alexander.