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Thula Sindi launches AfricaRise—a design emporium showcasing premium African-designed products

Image: Instagram As the business of fashion is forced to innovate and create new revenue streams, the AfricaRise concept store by renowned fashion designer Thula Sindi aims to position local designers in prime retail spaces.

Sindi’s vision is to mainstream the presence of African fashion enterprises and brands within the South African retail spaces, putting designers in contact with customers to build lasting relationships.

The concept store was officially launched last week Thursday. 

For Sindi, the AfricaRise boutique, tagged as “let’s make magic together’’, signifies the endless possibilities and potential that Africa has. 

“While for some, this might seem like a magical venture, it is in fact proof that Africa’s potential has always existed, and all I want is for us to show the world what we are good at,” said Sindi.

“This is my sole retail venture and as the curator, I have invited designers that I love to position us in a mall that understands and believes that we also belong in those spaces as African designers,” he added.

Of these designers, Sindi has included Erre, Ephymol, Galago (Kenya), Lioncloth & Ashes (Tanzania), Millie Collines (Rwanda), Hamethop by Tsakani Mashaba, Mantsho by Palesa Mokubung and Maria McCloy among others.

And through the initiative, the positioning of designers in the richest square mile in Africa - Sandton City, is able to empower them to be geared for growth, said Sindi, while hosting various activations to cultivate an appetite for African-designed products.

%%%twitter">#AfricariseStorewindow today @AdhiamboML Galago 🇰🇪 @TAIBOBACAR bikini and shirt 🇲🇿 #ThulaSindi leisure suit & beaded Tshirt 🇿🇦

Shop the continent at @SandtonCity shop U73

— Thula Sindi (@thulasindi)

%%%twitter">@ladivamillenAll at #AfricariseStore in @SandtonCity

— Thula Sindi (@thulasindi)

%%%twitter">#AfricariseStoreopening was amazing

— Thula Sindi (@thulasindi)

Other challenges that designers face include access to markets and distribution, barriers that constantly form a blockage to their growth and AfricaRise seeks to solve that.

Afro-chic designer Maria McCloy of McCloy label said for the longest time her designs were available in markets and believed that innovative spaces like AfricaRise would offer designers access to a broader clientele.

“As a designer, I was at a point where I needed to be in a store in a mall and as much as there are fashion weeks, a lot designers can’t afford a stand alone store in a mall.

“AfricaRise is a big deal. I had so much fun creating my area in the store. The decor represents my vintage, modern, traditional, global and fun pan African aesthetics,” said McCloy.

Also included in the space is selection of children’s items and accessories, fine art, crafts and home interior along with a curated selection of books, DVDs and music that echoes the taste of Africa.

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