Refiloe Mapitso Thaisi
ShweShweKini Active Wear
What Does Your Company Do?
Shweshwekini is an authentically South African brand for women and men, offering a uniquely designed range of ShweShwe inspired swimwear and Active Wear.
It is synonymous with the Basotho culture and it draws inspiration from this heritage for all the designs of the exquisite products.
The brand is about making people feel confident while embracing an authentically South African swimwear and active wear brand, together with promoting people’s health and wellbeing by encouraging an active lifestyle. As a growing South African fashion brand, Shweshwekini also embraces sustainable fashion by ensuring that cut-offs from materials used to make the products of this brand are incorporated into different designs and accessories to eliminate the amount of waste materials and this is currently a key focus in the fashion industry.
What is your Biggest Success?
- Successfully securing a collaboration with a well-known television show/ brand for this coming summer
- Moving the business from Cape Town to Johannesburg to establish a base in Gauteng and we have successfully been able to get the products in a few boutiques in Johannesburg.
- Showcasing at South African Fashion Week Trade Show Event in April 2019
- Being nominated for the Cape Town Magazine Rising Star Award in February 2019
- Making it to the Top 3 in the Santam-Fairlady WOTF Awards, Rising Star category in 2018
- Being named of Destiny Magazine’s 9 women who made their year for the Women’s Months issue
- Being featured on Top Billing in July 2018
- Being selected as one of Design Indaba’s 40 Emerging Creatives in 2018 and exhibiting our designs to a number of international delegates
- Becoming an official Zando supplier as of February 2018
- Being named by Glamour Magazine as one of the #Women Who Make Things Happen for Women’s Day 2017
- Winning the Foschini Sebenza Girl competition in November 2017
What has been your Biggest Hurdle?
As shweshwekini has a cultural story pinned to brand, we have received a lot of interest for larger sizes or designs that cater more for plus sizes. This is a challenge because it requires re-branding of the brand and creating more designs in order to meet the needs of a population that is often marginalized within the fashion industry. We have also received interest from the Muslim community who are interested in having designs made in our prints that allows them to look presentable in the Active Wear and swimwear.
This will require mentorship and guidance from industry experts because this is a huge market we are targeting and one that is likely to bring in more business for the brand going forward. As the brand is seen to be authentically South African, we would like the perception of the brand to become more inclusive and to not appear as if it is only for a select few.
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