Monthly Archives: May 2017
Spree: The Number one retailer for SA designers
Committed to growing and supporting local fashion, Spree – South Africa’s most fashionable shopping site has been a platform for local and emerging fashion designers since 2013, with a vision to discover and showcase the very best South African design talent.Celebrating 4 years of supporting South Africa’s brightest stars and with close to 100 local brands and designer collections having been featured on the site, Spree has been the largest supporter of local fashion in the country, ensuring that customers have access to amazing collaborations and allowing the site to offer a much broader and exciting range of apparel.
Designers such as Lukhanyo Mdingi, Rich Mnisi, Ruff Tung and Tamara Cherie represent the new wave of SA design talent who are proud about their cultural roots and produce lines that reflect their own sense of individuality. Something that Spree Creative Director Chris Viljoen echos, “We are always looking for outstanding new brands to add to our unique fashion edit, and we seek the most exciting talents wherever they are. So it’s great to be able to support local talent of this calibre.”Spree has also been home to some of SA’s long-standing fashion establishments in the past such a Marianne Fassler, known for her superbly crafted designs and contemporary offerings as well as Craig Jacobs, whose Fundudzi line showcases some of the wildest pieces in menswear – truly making the site a shopping hub that bridges the gap between catwalk and consumer SA fashion.
Whilst some of the SA brands available on Spree are already established long before showcasing on the site, collaborating with the ecommerce store means different things to different designers, from production and photography guidance to business mentorship. Julian Kubel, brand owner of Butan Wear comments ”Working with Spree has resulted in many benefits for our brand. Over and above giving Butan wider exposure and allowing our followers to purchase our goods from anywhere in SA, Spree has recently thrown their weight behind our ‘Searching For Mother and Child’ campaign, a project that is very close to our hearts.”
Another advantage that the retailer offers its designers as well as customers is the ability to deliver free throughout South Africa for orders over R250 either door-to-door, or door-to-post office counter or door-to-Pargo pick up point, depending on where the shopper is based.Founder and Creative Director of Funduzi, Craig Jacobs comments, “At Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs we don’t see ourselves as retail experts – our core business is creating beautiful yet accessible, modern yet distinctively African apparel, and we rely on our retail partners to provide our warriors with the ideal conduit for them to engage with our merchandise. Importantly, those partners need to match our value system – attention to quality, a distinctive experience and a high level of professionality.
What Spree has allowed me to do is concentrate on what we do best while knowing that, no matter where our warriors might be located in the country, they can simply tap on their smartphone app or click on their mouse and purchase a piece of Fundudzi.”
And with solid year-on-year growth of 76% in orders placed and a 69% increase in the number of site visits, it’s little wonder that Spree Creative Director Chris Viljoen is full of excitement for the future, “Spree is well-positioned to make a positive impact on the development of the country’s fashion industry and we’re so proud to have seen some of fashion’s leading lights pass through on their way to stardom.”
Shop your favourites from Spree
It is always great to see my favourite creatives progress in their careers and one such creative is Julia Ese Otobo. Julia is a 23 year old Nigerian born Half Delta and Half Igbo model who has taken New York by storm after being signed by MSA Models.She is in love with Afros and black hair, something that is evident in her blog www.nappyese.com. The decision to keep her hair natural came about because of a guy that she was in love with, she started keeping her hair natural because of him and eventually fell in love with her natural hair, her brave stance back then was admirable as the modelling industry had not yet fully accepted natural hair. Besides modelling, blogging and vlogging, Julia is taking a course in Digital & Affiliate Marketing to up her game.
Julia decided to start modelling after she listened to her favourite fashion model Doyin Haastrup Olatokunbo talk about the Pearl Look Model Nigeria modelling competition that she was producing and Julia knew that was the time for her life to change. After having to drop out of University because of lack of funds, Julia enrolled in the Pearl Look Model Nigeria competition and knew that she needed to win in order to make her other dream- being a Victoria Secret Model come true. Being a part of the boot camp was very difficult but she was determined to win and win she did! As the winner of Pearl Look Model Nigeria she won an all-expenses paid trip and a contract to South Africa to work with Ice Model Management in South Africa.
I believe that Julia is one of the best models that Africa has to offer, she knows how to own the runway and her fashion editorials are always pleasing to the eye and I remember when I first saw her on the runway at Mercedes-Benz fashion Week Joburg, I was really captivated by her. I have been following her career ever since. In one of our talks she explains that although modelling takes a lot of hard work, patience and persistence, she is grateful for each and every opportunity that she has ever gotten as she’s had the opportunity to work with amazing brands and fashion designers.
She recalls one of her favourite shoots to date was when she worked with her twin sister Janet Otobo for Luminance Magazine in South Africa while also having graced the cover twice. Julia is currently living it up in ‘The Big Apple’ and has booked multiple shows for a number of designers like Chromat and Marc Jacobs at New York Fashion Week. The model’s ultimate goal is to walk for Victoria Secret in a glorious Afro (like Maria Borges recently did) in order to show the world that Black hair is beautiful. I can surely imagine that, can you?
Tim Hulme Photography
Steven Love Menendez
Luminance: Sivan Miller
Article originally published on Moon-Look Mag