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Platform for African designers opens in CBD


Fashion designer Thula Sindi

Johannesburg – Fashion designer Thula Sindi has opened the second AfricaRise store in the Joburg CBD, providing an additional platform for African designers to sell their high-end fashion, accessories, crafts and fine art.

 The store, located at 66 Anderson Street in Marshalltown, follows the launch of the first AfricaRisestore in Sandton in October last year.

 Sindi says the store is a tourist attraction, where people from outside the country and in the city can interact with African-made garments and fine art.

 This is the vehicle to bring African fashion, crafts, jewellery, accessories and fine art under one roof, he adds.

 The concept is a collaborative effort between Sindi and in-house designers, who have a common goal to forge a community of innovators with a similar vision.

The space will feature the work of local design maestros like Sindi, David Tlale, Ephymol, Rubicon and Maria McCloy, together with designs from emerging creativeslike Ezekhetho, Imprint, Nguni Brand and SiyavuyaRoqoza.

 Sindi says the Covid-19 pandemic brought challenges for the creative sector. “The future requires artists and visionaries to take decisions to define the future of the industry, taking up space for a future that is not apparent to everyone. It is important to grab as much market share as possible right now, but this has to be done in a cautious but intentional way. Every time there is a disturbance in economic activity, black business suffers the most, and often relegated to obscurity. We need to create a new baseline for ourselves as design entrepreneurs. We have figured out creating coveted items that have market relevance within an extremely crowded and hostile market, he adds.