“Annemarie is Chanel-red lips and black Chinese suits – but I am sure you already know that. She’s also the best storyteller in the world and the kindest heart alive. The only thing she loves more than good design is Sonny Boy her Maltese poodle and Paris, her daughter and favourite city.” Jacquie Myburgh Chemaly
What a privilege it was for me to host this great lady in “Die Baai” Port Elizabeth. I say great but there is something in Annemarie that is also small. Somehow I sensed a subtle mix of the vulnerability and quirky cheek of a “jong meisie”. Yet hidden beneath the folds of her dark zen suit was ancient wisdom and knowledge of life. When Annemarie looks at you she focuses her attention and seems to see into your heart. She was gritty and real mixed with the fantastical and imaginative… Black and white. Strong yet exposed. A mother and a child. I liked that. I liked her!
Born in Klerkdorp in the days when it was still part of the Western Transvaal, Annemarie is rooted both in South Africa and the soil of the nations she has explored on her travels. After studying at Stellenbosch she joined the SABC at the time when TV training started and loved it. This girl was born to be in media. Huisgenoot and You magazines invited her to edit their In Die Kol and Spot On fashion editorials. She then joined fellow media genius Karen Roos and together they spearheaded a brand new magazine that made a deep impression on the SA fashion scene, namely RED. It was with joy that she welcomed her daughter Paris into her world and with it birthed another home-grown effort, one that South African Decor aficionados cannot live without – House and Leisure Magazine.
In the whirlwind of her creativity, alongside Karen Roos, Annemarie published a number of books. They included Shortcuts to Storage, Fast Décor, Outdoor living and South. Clive Morris picked up Fast Décor and felt a TV series coming on; Huis-Huis on SABC 2 followed.
Her current life is filled with the style bible – VISI magazine. VISI, SA’s design wunderkind, holds its own beside the finest overseas decor magazines and carries within its hallowed pages the top designers, trends, plus structural and interior design that South Africa and the world has to offer. Annemarie’s life overflows with the production of pages filled with mind blowing architecture, homes and gardens. She constantly thinks up cheeky ideas with junk, known as ‘dustbin decor’ and literally oozes with great ideas. When at home, she quirkily sinks her toes into Dura Turf artificial grass flooring and like many of us, loves her dog and has a deep passion for traveling and her family. As I write this she is winging her way to the Black Forest in Germany – who knows what delicious inspiration awaits her there.
If we were to peak inside her head we’d be sure to find magnificently stored boxes of information and inspiration gleaned from her travels, her love of this land and her natural knack for seeing the extraordinary embedded in the most ordinary things.
Know this, Annemarie is a woman who has been supremely instrumental in setting the creative design trends of our nation!
Ag, dankie man!
This is me, I am Tania Ahlfeldt encouraging you to acknowledge “The Creatives” in our nation.