Words: Denise Mhlanga Images: Supplied
In 2017, award-winning African fashion and lifestyle brand Loin Cloth and Ashes moved from Maboneng to Fabricate – a shared creative studio in Kyalami. Founder and creative director Anissa Mpungwe talks to us.
How did your business start?
I kicked off my career in the fashion industry when I was 19 and worked for various fashion houses, magazines and apparel factories in Africa, the UK and US. The idea of starting the business came about while studying at the London College of Fashion in the UK. Armed with previous experience and newly acquired knowledge from my studies, I established Loin Cloth and Ashes when I returned to SA in 2008 and became seriously involved in the fashion industry. I opened the first store in 2012 in Maboneng and have gone to win many industry awards including the Emerging Designer of the year Africa in 2013.
Why did you choose this area to set up shop?
I have worked in both Pretoria and Joburg CBD and found that Kyalami is well located for my clients to reach me and not have to drive far distances.
How did you find your premises?
I was looking to be a in a similar space to Maboneng but central and Kyalami had the perfect space in the form of Fabricate, a collaborative studio boutique space housing six designers.
Why are the premises ideally suited to your business?
Centrally located close to Joburg and Pretoria and our team of tailors and seamstresses love the quiet work space environment.
Who are your neighbours?
Colour Pop and Retail Communications.
What are the rental/sales prices like in this area?
Around R132/m2 and R140/m2.
How many people visit your store each day?
On average, 5 to 10.
Do you operate online as well?
We opened an online store in 2016 accessed via our website and are also on Facebook and Instagram (Loin Cloth and Ashes).
Do you have any expansion plans?
For now, we are happy with this space and our offerings.
What’s your most popular product?
Our traditional wedding dresses.