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Brutal Fruit launches first-ever women-only bar in Soweto

The empowered alcohol brand has taken over the RockerFella in Soweto and transformed it into a women-only venue for the month of August. Launched on Women’s Day, #SheBeen seeks to honour and celebrate all things women.

The women-only venue seeks to affirm that spaces where women can freely express themselves are possible. And Brutal Fruit aims to spark conversations around public spaces that consider and prioritise women’s needs. The core messaging is about freedom during Women’s Month and beyond. We caught up with Brutal Fruit’s Acting Head of Brand, Candice van den Bosch at the media roundtable ahead of the launch.

Image: Instagram @brutalfruitza

Glamour: Let’s talk about SheBeen, why this name specifically? And what went into this initiative?

Candice: It’s a play on words so I say it with specific emphasis on the ‘She’. It’s a place for ‘She’ to ‘Be’ inspired, celebrated and to be free and fully express her authentic self and truly belong in National Women’s Month. I say ‘belong’ because Brutal Fruit Spritzer is driven by the idea of ‘You Belong.’

This is why we saw it as important to speak to the insight that through social listening; social media conversations and stories, we noticed that there was a common thread of women expressing their desire for imagining women-only spaces and experiences. Places where they can fully feel free and just belong so #SheBeen is a physical manifestation of those women’s desires.

Glamour: What sort of conversations are hoping will emanate from the campaign?

Candice: It’s Women’s Month and we’re a brand that’s all about connection, joy and celebration. And making sure that whoever you are or how you look like, you belong! We want women to come here and feel free. We want to make women feel special during National Women’s Month. Our brand purpose is that we exist to make women feel special.

Glamour: Let’s talk about the significance of the location…why the RockerFella specifically?

Candice: The venue is in Molapo, in Soweto. We chose this location because in this area, there are significant amounts of date night/ going out establishments. It's also a popular destination area, and most importantly, it’s a model outlet when it comes to our responsible trading programme compliance. And this was really important when looking at our long term goals for this campaign which is SheBeen compliance.

Glamour: What’s your ultimate vision for this space?

Candice: Unfortunately, this space is just a Pop-Up so it will only be available for the month of August from Thursdays to Sundays. Keep an eye on our social media as well as the RockerFella social pages which will be rebranded with SheBeen, to see what’s happening. After the month of August it goes back to being the RockerFella owned by Lucky who has been so gracious to support us. And for the longer term campaign initiative, that’s where we really want to talk about SheBeen compliance in partnership with our SAB Sharp Responsible Trading Programme

This is where we want to develop a scorecard criteria where all outlets throughout the country can try and strive to comply with this criteria geared towards being more women friendly and catering to the specific needs of women. For example, single sex bathrooms, CCTV cameras, security, indoor/outdoor lighting, basically spaces where you can go and feel comfortable.

Glamour: For those women who won’t get an opportunity to experience #SheBeen, practically, what does it look like?

Candice: It’s a Cinderella Story; we have taken our magic wand. And this is was Brutal Fruit does; we like to transform everyday moments into blissful treats so whether it be drinking your Brutal Fruit Spritzer from a champagne flute when you’re winding down at home or transforming a space like RockerFella, a traditional tavern in Soweto, into this gorgeous, pink, plush, opulent, luxurious aesthetic, that’s what we hope to do.

Brutal Fruit, SheBeen, Women’s Month, Women’s Day, Soweto, Molapo, RockerFella, alcohol

Glamour: Please elaborate on how Freedom will translate in this space?

Candice: It can mean absolutely anything when you come here. You can wear what you want, express yourself in any way you want. For me, that’s freedom, comfortability, and being your authentic self. That’s belonging!

Glamour: Brutal Fruit has evolved over the years, please speak to this evolution with regard to brand positioning?

Candice: It’s actually an amazing one; this brand has been around for 21 years, and it’s amazing how it’s evolved because it established itself first as this flirty, naughty drink that you had in a club. And in 2018 or perhaps earlier than that, we relaunched Brutal Fruit Spritzer. It’s basically a trilogy so each one of our variants plays on a certain type of wine for example, so you have your Strawberry Rouge; she’s your equivalent of a red wine. And we have Ruby Apple (my favourite); the equivalent of your Rosè, she’s pink, blush and beautiful. And our recent launch which tastes absolutely amazing, and reminds me of champagne is the Litchi Sèche which is almost like your demi-sec champagne.

We’ve crafted ourselves into more of a sophisticated, luxurious space. And what we like to do, is give anybody that feeling of belonging and that luxury within reach. We hope that every woman who has a Brutal Fruit Spritzer feels like she’s having a treat.

Glamour: Who is the Brutal Fruit woman and how does she interact with the brand?

Candice: We like to call her a sweet seeker because we’re slightly sweet but it’s someone who’s sophisticated, a bit of a go-getter, in the know, and likes nice things; to pamper herself, and likes to be with her girlfriends. She’s passionate about things like beauty, travel and experiencing amazing new places. She has brunch with the girls on Saturdays, and drinks her Brutal Fruit Spritzer from a champagne flute. At the end of the day, she could be anyone; we invite everyone to be a part of our brand. At the end of the day, you belong and we’re so appreciative to all the sophisticated ladies who drink our brand.

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