ShopSA | Rich Mnisi

ShopSA Rich MnisiA couple of months ago at the H&M Store opening in Sandton City, I was for lack of a better word “attacked” by someone I was talking to about my ShopSA content slots and how I support and buy local brands. This persons position was that she only ever saw me tag international brands on my Instagram posts and that I never actually promoted local brands. This comment annoyed me and as I took her through my grid (which I have edited a bit now) and showed her all the local brands I was wearing I actually realised her lack of education on who the local brands are was the problem and that she doesn’t like most people click on the link and read the posts where I unpack content more (something she openly admitted to and something I am understanding more and more in terms of content consumption nowadays).

With that being said, I refuse to point out or call out that the brand is local because from a quality perspective the pieces I buy from these designers and brands are exactly the same quality, and sometimes better quality than the clothes I own from the international retailers we all spend our money on. As someone who puts their money where their mouth is, in terms of actually buying from local designers, that interaction had me feeling some typa way, especially because just that week I had spent time at Rich Mnisi’s studio trying on clothes, ordering and buying clothes from him like this amazing Recess Apron Top, which you can also buy and own.

I wish I could aptly describe how this Recess Apron Top looks and fits, but I can’t because like I said in my previous post about Rich Mnisi’s Recess S/S 16 Collection, his clothing is intriguing. This particular piece is actually a work of graphic art as Rich marries lines of different textures, widths and direction in a perfectly balanced way. The work and attention to detail that went into pleating the fabric of the apron portion of the top and then carefully matching all the different lines is something you will never get from mass produced clothing in high street retailers, which is why I am always happy to swipe and pay for these types of unique designer pieces and you should too.

The only way the local industry will grow is if we put our money where our mouth is and start to educate ourselves on the local industry, support the local industry and consider and judge the work relative to the international industry. At the point, where the price point of almost all of Rich Mnisi’s unique pieces are lower or equivalent to the prices we all paid for the H&M x Balmain pieces, where thousands (maybe more) of each piece were made and sold around the world, the choice is about where YOU choose to spend your money. To quote myself in the Guardian UK articleCan international fashion brands compete in South Africa? 

“It’s really not a choice between Mr Price and a foreign competitor. It’s a choice between Topshop and a local small-scale designer. 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.”

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Clothing Credits: Recess Apron Top from Rich Mnisi | Jeans from Mango | Heels from Call It Spring

Photography by Keagan Kingsley Green of Gold Creatures

  • Athi Mfobo
    Posted at 07:15h, 06 June Reply

    I would love to maybe find a way to purchase these online. As a student I would love to maybe see the prices on the sites. I was on Rich Mnisi’s site and I couldn’t really figure out the pricing of his clothes. I’m all for Supporting South African designers

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