15 Sep Spree Boutique Now Live
Last week Thursday I was in Cape Town to attend Spree’s Spring / Summer 2014 Lookbook Event where trends and looks were presented to attendees via Spree’s curated perspective in a live lookbook format. This event also coincided with the launch of Spree Boutique, a boutique within the “Spree Boutique” that offers covetable items by local designers such as Marianne Fassler, Malcolm KLûK, Christiaan Gabriël du Toit, Clive Rundle, Gert-Johan Coetzee and Thula Sindi to name a few.
Accessibility and perception have always been issues I have spoken about passionately when it comes to the South African fashion industry and platforms like Spree Boutique are necessary in addressing both these issues. Judging by the number of emails I have received from readers both locally and abroad enquiring about where and how they can access South African designer clothing; fixing the issue of accessibility will inevitably resolve the bigger issue of perception, because then people will be able to see with their own eyes and feel with their own hands that local is just as good and maybe even better.
The accessibility that Spree Boutique is bringing to the shopping landscape will aid in dispelling the still prevalent perception that garments produced in South Africa by local fashion designers are not good quality or even worse that they are too expensive. Expensive in comparison to what? To quote myself in the Guardian UK article “If someone is able to spend 1,000 ZAR on a basic dress from Topshop, they are also able to spend that on a local designer.” Yes, it will be a little bit extra, but that is what you pay for exclusivity and whilst I have nothing against fast-fashion low price clothing retailers because I do believe they serve their function, I believe that one must have a discerning approach to fashion and shopping and be able to differentiate between quality versus mass-produced quantity.
As someone who has worked as a stylist, I am really grateful for the accessibility that role has afforded me. Without trying very hard, the work I used to do brought me in contact with garments made locally, so I know – from what is in my wardrobe that local really is lovely.
Now because of Spree, more consumers can experience that local really is lovely. The Spree Boutique has created access to designer garments from established and younger designers like Othelia by KLûK CGDT and Marianne Fassler who both joined Spree to grow their businesses by moving into a market place where a younger market is shopping, but doing so without losing the exclusivity and strong DNA of their brands as well as Thula Sindi who invests in creating classic pieces that won’t date and to quote wants his clothes to be “Future hand me downs.”
When you can buy, you can also be resolute in the fact that Spree is a wholesale enterprise. They do not run their business on consignment, something that from all my conversations with designers in teh business is a very real hurdle. Now that Spree have invested and put their money where their mouth is by making good quality, unique and versatile South African produced designer garments accessible to you, what’s stopping you from investing in the local fashion industry?