Over the last few years I’ve noticed a big trend to support local designers, and this is one of the best times to do it. We have incredible talent on our shores that are producing really beautiful, innovative designs. I buy local because these pieces have been crafted, not just made on mass; because they’re someone’s piece of wearable art.
In most cases, you’re going to get much better value for money when you buy local, with unique, inspired designs that have been made with love and passion. You are also supporting local businesses – not just the designers themselves but also all the guys involved in the manufacturing process. And if designers are 100% local, that means that every part of their garments, from the design to textile, print and final creation, was done in South Africa. That’s a whole lotta job creation.
These are the designers I have bought and loved, or that I’m planning to buy. I think they’re all pretty well-priced and accessible, and I love the fabric, cuts and quality.
AKJP is a collaboration between Adriaan Kuiter and Jody Paulsen. They have a selection of trend-pushing pieces as well as really cool basics like classic button-up shirts, T-shirts and tops. Aside from their own line, their Kloof Street store also stocks a selection of other local designers like Selfi and Pichulik.
Find more at akjp.co.za
I actually own a couple of pieces by Coppelia. The brand was founded by Kirsty Bannerman and all the pieces are designed and handmade by her team in Cape Town. I love the prints and cuts, and the fabric quality is always stunning.
Find more at coppelia.co.za
Espadril creates authentic Spanish espadrilles right here in South Africa. The shoes are hand-made following traditional methods, and given an African flavour with creative fabrics. You can also customise your own pair for a perfect fit. Mine are a summer staple and seriously comfortable.
Find more at espadril.co.za
Lorne is a jewellery line created by Gillian Lawrence in Cape Town. I think the range is particularly creative, and affordable. A personal favourite is the Headspace earrings, a side silhouette of a face, but I think all her pieces are pretty fricken cool.
Find more at lorne.co.za
This is another one of my favourite brands for beautiful wardrobe basics, with really well-priced pieces. Created by Marian Park-Ross, the range is designed and made right here in Cape Town. Buy them online or at local boutiques like The Space and Mungo & Jemima.
Find more at goodclothing.co.za
Jane Sews, a local brand by Amy Venter, is all about easy-to-wear high quality pieces made from natural fabrics. Each collection is designed in-house and all their manufacturers are carefully selected for the best end-result.
Find more at janesews.co.za
Jota-Kena is a fairly new clothing retailer based in Cape Town. They’re all about applying mindfulness to fashion with a line of no-nonsense, hand-tailored garments, understated detailing and ready-to-wear-again planet-friendly fabrics that have been locally manufactured. You can read more about them here.
Find more at jotakena.com
If you are looking for statement pieces, then check out Leigh Schubert. Born and raised in Durban, her designs have since been shown at Australian Fashion week, and she is a regular at the South African, Cape Town and Joburg Fashion Weeks. Her pieces have a strong, architectural feel and will definitely turn heads.
Find more at leighschubert.com
Maison Noir is a luxury sleepwear collection created by Rolene Lightbody. She was inspired by a silk vintage robe that her mom found in France, and wanted to create a local range that captured this feeling of comfort and luxury. All the products are made in Cape Town using soft fabrics like cotton, linen and rayon.
Find more at maisonnoircollection.com
Mareth Colleen, created by Mareth van der Walt and Colleen Lesch, is all about clean lines, strong silhouettes and creative design elements. Their range consists of simplistic basic pieces as well as stunning statement buys and formal wear.
Find more at marethcolleen.com
Margot Molyneux is a Cape Town-based brand that creates a range of easy-to-wear items, made with careful attention to detail. If you are looking for comfortable, elegant wardrobe staples, this brand is a must.
Find more at margotmolyneux.com
Pichulik has become well-loved for their statement jewellery and woven bags. They’ve even been featured in Vogue Italia next to Proenza Schouler! Recently they have also introduced a capsule collection of stunning garments that can be shopped at the AKJP store in Cape Town.
Find more at pichulik.com
Selfi is a Cape Town-based brand that creates quality elegant and simplistic everyday pieces. I love their comfortable yet flattering cuts and quality fabrics.
Find more at selfi.co.za
Waif is a Cape Town jewellery brand by Gisèle Human. All the pieces are uniquely designed and handmade using locally sourced materials, and they have been created to compliment a woman’s body. If you are looking for creative, statement jewellery then you have to check them out.
Find more at waif.co.za
Do you have a local designer you want to recommend? Pop it in the comments section below, I would love to hear from you.
Main Picture: Pichulik FW 17 Collection