AfricaRise in Jozi

Sartorial suave from some of SA’s prominent design maestros is set to adorn the city’s heart of gold. Thula Sindi’s ground-breaking high fashion joint venture, AfricaRise, has opened its second store on 66 Anderson Street, Marshalltown Johannesburg.

“The second AfricaRise store is a destination/tourist attraction store, where people from outside of the country and people in the city can interact with African-made garments and fine art,” Sindi explains.

The Joburg store follows hot on the heels of the Sandton City entity, which broke ground last October to much critical and consumer acclaim.

This move is significant on many levels outside of the retail and fashion spheres. Beyond aesthetics, fashion allows us to be seen and to be visible in ways that are determined by Africans. AfricaRise takes fashion as a medium capable of opening various portals and possibilities.

“It’s very important to have spaces of beauty in urban settings, and AfricaRise is the vehicle to bring African fashion, crafts, jewellery, accessories and Fine Art under one roof,” Sindi continues.

AfricaRise will also serve as a platform for other creators and designers to find expression. The business is collaborative in nature, which is one of the ways in which it aims to forge a community of innovators with a similar vision.

While the Joburg edition will also feature the usual big names comprising Sindi, David Tlale, Ephymol, Rubicon and Maria McCloy; the more exciting bit of news is that emerging designers will be introduced. The store will have pertinent works from Ezekhetho, Imprint, Nguni Brand and Siyavuya Roqoza among others.

It’s a challenging time for the creative sector during these COVID-19 times. The future requires bold artists and visionaries to take decisions that will define the future of the industry - decisions that are about taking up space for a future that is not apparent to everyone.

“It is important to grab as much market share as possible right now,” Sindi continues.

“But this has to be done in a cautious but intentional way. Every time there is a disturbance in economic activity, Black Business suffers the most and we are often relegated to obscurity. We need to create a new baseline for ourselves as design entrepreneurs. We have already figured out the impossible part – which is creating coveted items that have market relevance within an extremely crowded and hostile market. Now we must have direct access to the market. Domestic distribution is very important. We can survive any financial storm with the correct structural support, strategic nous, planning and extreme agility.”

AfricaRise is not just four walls and a door. It is a lifestyle, committed to the values of authenticity, innovation and quality without compromise. We are Africans and we have a collective duty to rise.

*Items sold at both stores will also be available at www.africariseonline.co.za

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