Skip to content

GLAMOUR Women in Charge: Palesa Mokubung and Lorna Scott

Palesa Mokubung
Palesa Mokubung

For this edition of GLAMOUR: Women in Charge we speak to two pioneers, fashion designer Palesa Mokubung and founder and creator of Inverroche gin Lorna Scott speaks to us about their impactful journeys and excelling in their industries.

Fashion Designer Palesa Mokubung

Palesa Mokubung

GLAMOUR: How is working in fashion different today than from when you started out?

Palesa: There are a lot more opportunities now for fashion designs in the fashion space and outside the fashion space. Buying local and supporting South African designers is now a trend.

GLAMOUR: What role do you think social media plays in fashion today?

Palesa: It plays a huge role. Social Media is our own magazine and because of it, you have to learn how to take pictures and sell your garments to a guaranteed audience.

GLAMOUR: What was your biggest fear when going out and starting your own line?

Palesa: I had no fears otherwise I would have not started. I only thought of succeeding – failing was not an option though I did fail and even then, I did not have the fear of starting over.

GLAMOUR: How do you want women to feel when wearing your clothes?

Palesa: I want them to feel beautiful, regal, stylish, chic, powerful and for them to feel like leaders.

GLAMOUR: You are the first African to have collaborated with H&M and now you are part of the Inverroche Pioneers of the present campaign. What was it like filming the campaign, it looks like it was quite an experience and what does being a pioneer mean to you?

Palesa: It was a very special and unique experience because of where it was shot, in Stilbaai, the home of Inverroche – which is the source of this authentic and luxurious gin. One exciting thing I have learned and experienced from filming the campaign was the opportunity of creating my own gin.

Being a Pioneer to me as a fashion designer means that you have shared your most precious gifts with the world, broken boundaries and kicked doors open and left them open to give room for other designers to add their magic to this creative and inspiring field.

GLAMOUR: What is your favourite part about being a designer?

Palesa: I love the entire experience of being a creative and a fashion designer.

GLAMOUR: There’s so much pressure for designers to come out with their greatest collection season after season. What advice would you give to young designers just starting out and hoping to make it in the industry?

Palesa: Pressure is the name of the game and my advice to them would be to simply get used to it.

Founder and creator of Inverroche gin Lorna Scott

Lorna Scott

GLAMOUR: Tell us how your first came to distilling and was it difficult getting into the industry?

Lorna: Whilst working as the Deputy Mayor of the Hessequa Municipality, one of my main focus areas were to develop the region as a tourist destination and to create employment, it was during this time that I discovered that our region is the birthplace of the modern mind and that our ancestors only survived because of the food, the shellfish and unique botanicals called fynbos, which nature provided. This was a story that had to be told and the idea was born to create a luxury product made with these historically significant ingredients which would create a new industry and by finding a commercial use for the unique botanicals we are able to preserve this special ingredient. Being a pioneer in a male-dominated industry was challenging and for three years it was a solitary journey. Then I discovered a most valuable resource - retired specialists who lived locally including the late Dave Acker a master distiller, the botanists the late Dr Tol Pienaar and his wife Annette - a horticulturist, who unstintingly shared their wealth of knowledge with me and guided me towards the creation of Inverroche gins.

GLAMOUR: How many trials had you done to get to that point?

Lorna: The process of finding the correct recipes and flavour profiles as well as the optimum process for the delicate fynbos species we use took me and my son Rohan for a period of three years to perfect. Exploring ways in which to use some of the 150 edible and aromatic plants which grow here and nowhere else. During this time, we had a tasting panel of several very devoted, brutally honest and enthusiastic retired self-confessed gin connoisseurs that helped us narrow down our recipes that resulted in the birthing of our Fynbos Gin range - a triptych each representing one of the three core regions of the floral kingdom – mountain etc….

GLAMOUR: The story of Stilbaai is fascinating, tell us a little bit about some of your highlights living there and how that translates into Inverroche?

Lorna: Before Stilbaai became known as the home of world-class fynbos infused gins, it has been famous amongst the archaeological community as the site of pre-historically important artefacts that show human’s emergence as thinking, creative social beings, it is the first evidence of humans as creative and sharing thinker. Being surrounded by all the history and the richest and most abundant species of fynbos that can only be found within the Cape Floral Kingdom, I find myself very grateful and humbled to live in such a special place and I knew that I wanted to share this story of a place we call home with so many, and Inverroche is my vessel to tell that story, to find new ways to inspire people to start talking about our past and possible futures while enjoying spirits infused with history and hope.

GLAMOUR: What have been the biggest challenges/achievements in your entrepreneurship journey, or your favourite story so far?

Lorna: We are very fortunate to be in over 30 countries worldwide and going global is a big achievement for us, having started off as the Pioneers of Fynbos gin in the South African Market. Two of my most favourite stories to date would be standing on stage in New York with Charlize Theron in 2019 when we were invited to support her fundraising event for the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach programme and our latest Pioneers Of The Present, where we have chosen three individuals who are pioneering in their own chosen crafts, to work along each of them, listening to their stories and aspirations and how they conquer their industries are inspirational, without giving too much away, there are many exciting things ahead and so many more stories to come.

Watch the Inverroche Pioneers Of The Present campaign video here:

Follow Inverroche on Instagram: @inverroche

Share this article: