Johannesburg – The timeless and elegant South African brand Rubicon recently celebrated 19 years in fashion.
A special viewing for media and selected guests was hosted at the Jenna Clifford House in Sandton.
Rubicon founder and creative director Hangwani Nengovhela’s collection was showcased at the South African Fashion Week’s Spring/Summer collections earlier this year in April.
Her 2021 collection, “Myth Re-imagined”, was inspired by the fashion trends from the Mapungubwe Kingdom in Limpopo. The design aesthetic is derived from the kingdom’s social structure, the influence of trade with the far east and the area’s dynamic ecosystem.
Nengovhela said it was important to understand the value chain of the clothing sector.
She started Rubicon after leaving her advertising job. Nengovhela was already selling items from home when she saw a gap after meeting a group of designers who said they could manufacture the outfits to display her ideas.
The journey had its challenges, including her selling one of her properties while pregnant with her son.
Nengovhela said the most important thing in a business was getting new customers. The designer has enjoyed the support of many local celebrities, notably Basetsana Kumalo, who has been a muse for Rubicon over the years.
She continued with her calling, something that was instilled in her from a young age, coming from a family involved in clothing.
“It’s important to push passion, but you need to add all the other elements of the business. The system itself is important. I have an amazing team and having that anchor really helps me. We are 19 years now supplying boutiques nationwide and in Botswana.
“Bespoke sells, but it’s important to look at day-to-day wear as well.”
Nenghovela said it was important for everyone to remain true to who they were.
“You can get inspiration from others, but don’t try to be like any other person because your journey is yours alone.”
Happy Ngidi, Proudly South African’s marketing manager, spoke on the importance of buying local.
“Nobody must tell you that local is not lekker. Let us not think our products are inferior. Not everyone will be absorbed into corporate South Africa. Entrepreneurship has to work.
“We have a responsibility to ensure that it works and absorb that big percentage of people that can’t find jobs today.”