Monday , March 1 2021

How South African designer Thula Sindi redefines the power of dress for women in business and politics




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"I have two types of customers, she's super rich or a lady who saved $ 600 ($ 600 in the current exchange rate) for the dress," says South African stylist Thula Sindi as we drive from her store inside Rosebank Mall in Johannesburg for its second unique brand location at the Menlyn Park Shopping Center in Pretoria. Sindi, a household name in her homeland, South Africa, has conquered a niche for itself, attracting a clientele that consists largely of women leaders in the fields of business and politics. While many of their counterparts project to the red carpet, it projects into the meeting room.

Fashion designer Thula Sindi.Thula Sindi

The day on which the Minister of Communications of South Africa & Telecommunications – Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams – was sworn in, she opted for a black set Thula Sindi sleeveless. Nbadeni-Abrahams is one of the many powerful South African women that Sindi can consider a stable client. "I opened the second store in Pretoria because many politicians live here," says Sindi about his retail strategy. A strategy that prioritizes the concept of brick and mortar on e-commerce. "We sell about 10 to 20 pieces of the online collection. I think people treat e-commerce as a showcase. So they will check prices online before visiting the store. In terms of location, it's all a matter of facility for South Africans. You will find us inside shopping malls as it is convenient for our customers to shop and shop under one roof. The downside of setting up a store inside a mall, however, is the price of the rent. Foreign brands can easily pay for a multi-year contract, but for many local designers this is a major challenge. "

In the power of dressing her list of women clients, the fashion designer's approach has little to do with padded shoulders or Hillary Clinton-style pantsuits. On the contrary, it celebrates the female silhouette through different volumes, colorful fabrics and romantic details. Her designs – consisting largely of skirts and dresses, plus accessories and shirts – highlight a woman's physical assets without falling into the "sex sells" cliché. "They are clothes that women buy for themselves – not for others. It is not fancy dress with high cracks etc. It's for women who want to appear together, "says Sindi, who founded her company in the year of 2007. The decision to start on her own came after a lucrative consulting show for the wax manufacturer Vlisco. .

A design by Thula Sindi.Thula Sindi

"Repeating business is a key issue for most of the country's high-quality brands. It is mainly because of the price and when the clothing is less essential. Red carpet dresses do not sell on a regularly, and the wedding business is focused only on the summer season. I do not think (the latter) is sustainable because it takes a lot of time and is on the super-premium side, "the founder of Thula Sindi elaborates on the direction of his company.

Thula Sindi's wife means business. For that very reason, its private sale at the end of the year has turned into a coveted networking event by itself. "Women are smart in how they shop, so if they know a sale is coming they will wait until the product is sold at a discounted price. So our sale is not open to the public, but only to our customers – over the course of two days. There will be the CEO and middle management in the same place, "says the designer about the event where clothing is sold at a 50% to 90% discount.

As regards the guarantee of future clients, Sindi relies, in large part, on Instagram as a marketing tool. On the social media platform, he regularly posts photos of satisfied customers using his designs. "Social media is the new word of mouth. By posting photos of satisfied customers in our brand on the Instagram page, we also reach your circle of friends. And this circle will believe her, before they believe me.

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"I have two types of customers, she's super rich or a lady who saved $ 600 ($ 600 in the current exchange rate) for the dress," says South African stylist Thula Sindi as we drive from her store inside Rosebank Mall in Johannesburg for its second unique brand location at the Menlyn Park Shopping Center in Pretoria. Sindi, a household name in her homeland, South Africa, has conquered a niche for itself, attracting a clientele that consists largely of women leaders in the fields of business and politics. While many of their counterparts project to the red carpet, it projects into the meeting room.

Fashion designer Thula Sindi.Thula Sindi

On the day the South African Communications and Telecommunications Minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, was sworn in, he opted for a black set of Thula Sindi sleeveless. Nbadeni-Abrahams is one of the many powerful South African women that Sindi can consider a stable client. "I opened the second store in Pretoria because many politicians live here," says Sindi about his retail strategy. A strategy that prioritizes the concept of brick and mortar on e-commerce. "We sell about 10 to 20 pieces of the online collection. I think people treat e-commerce as a showcase. So they will check prices online before visiting the store. In terms of location, it's all a matter of facility for South Africans. You will find us inside shopping malls as it is convenient for our customers to shop and shop under one roof. The downside of setting up a store inside a mall, however, is the price of the rent. Foreign brands can easily pay for a multi-year contract, but for many local designers this is a major challenge. "

In the power of dressing her list of women clients, the fashion designer's approach has little to do with padded shoulders or Hillary Clinton-style pantsuits. On the contrary, it celebrates the female silhouette through different volumes, colorful fabrics and romantic details. Her designs – consisting largely of skirts and dresses, as well as accessories and T-shirts – highlight a woman's physical assets without falling into the "sex sell" cliché. "They are clothes that women buy for themselves – not for others. It is not fancy dress with high cracks etc. It's for women who want to appear together, "says Sindi, who founded her company in the year of 2007. The decision to start on her own came after a lucrative consulting show for the wax manufacturer Vlisco. .

A design by Thula Sindi.Thula Sindi

"Repeating business is a key issue for most of the country's high-quality brands. It is mainly because of the price and when the clothing is less essential. Red carpet dresses do not sell on a regularly, and the wedding business is focused only on the summer season. I do not think (the latter) is sustainable because it takes a lot of time and is on the super-premium side, "the founder of Thula Sindi elaborates on the direction of his company.

Thula Sindi's wife means business. For that very reason, its private sale at the end of the year has turned into a coveted networking event by itself. "Women are smart in how they shop, so if they know a sale is coming they will wait until the product is sold at a discounted price. So our sale is not open to the public, but only to our customers – over the course of two days. There will be the CEO and middle management in the same place, "says the designer about the event where clothing is sold at a 50% to 90% discount.

As regards the guarantee of future clients, Sindi relies, in large part, on Instagram as a marketing tool. On the social media platform, he regularly posts photos of satisfied customers using his designs. "Social media is the new word of mouth. By posting photos of satisfied customers in our brand on the Instagram page, we also reach your circle of friends. And this circle will believe her, before they believe me.


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