Following the opening of his first ever outpost, located in the sophisticated Hyde Park Mall, we played a game of 5 questions with everyone’s favourite leather goods designer, Inga Gubeka from Inga Atelier.
ONE: What inspired you to be a designer?
I grew up watching the lifestyle television show Top Billing, and they used to have this slot called “DIY with Aidan Bennetts.” I used to wonder what it took to design the cool things that they designed. It was then that I realised that I wanted to pursue design. After high school, I applied to study design at Durban’s DUT, and later I moved to Cape Town to study at CPUT.
TWO: How does it feel to be at the point in your career where you have a store in Hyde Park?
Opening my store in Hyde Park corner was a great opportunity for my brand because Inga Atelier exudes luxury, and Hyde Park
is where you find all things luxe. I must say that it was the best move, as things are going very well there – the product has been very well received. At first, I was hesitant to open my store there because I wasn’t sure how this small African brand was going to compete amongst all the other international brands.
THREE: Why have you decided to focus on sustainable designs?
Sustainable design is the future. The world is shifting in that direction, so it was very important for us to get involved in this environmentally-conscious movement at an early stage. Sustainable design is going to be around for a long time, as you may have seen, there are now new ways of growing leather without having to kill animals.
FOUR: Who is the Inga Atelier consumer?
My target market is someone who wants to be unique but very elegant and stylish. Inga Atelier is for a person who appreciates design and handcrafted products.
FIVE: Where do you think South African Fashion is headed?
Aesthetically, I think South African fashion is ready for the international market; however, there a few things we need to improve on such as quality and the finishing of our products.
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