One of the most amazing things about being @frogirlginny is being able to work with brands who embody so many wonderful messages. I love having the freedom to create my own aesthetics with photographers and scenery. This collaboration was completely spontaneous as Zoe from Design Essentials (@dehair_sa) took us out on our last day of South Africa to “The Old Joburg City.”
We found the most amazing stores alongside the street of the Maboneng Precinct.
One in particular had prints which were so vibrant that I had to wander around and try on everything which fit. It wasn’t until me and René had a lightbulb moment to work with this store and give it our vibe.
It was so fun doing this shoot with René, it was completely spontaneous with the wonderful Iwani Mawocha who captured our simple and free vibes in her magical home in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Each clothing brand I have worked with or had the chance to meet always have an insightful story of how they started and who inspired them to start so I really wanted to find out the Makotis story.
Makotis was created by our Grandparents in the 1960’s. They would retail South African cultural fabrics and began creating a network of home sewers to make traditional clothing from the fabrics. They would mostly outsource production to home seamtresses and retail the finished garments.
Today the business still embodies the family business traditions as we keep up the empowerment of home seamtresses and tailors by outsourcing a considerable amount of our production. The younger members of the family have recently began making ready to wear contemporary clothing using the traditional beautiful fabric to make designs more appealing to a wider market and not just the cultural market.
"Makoti" which means a bride or daughter in law was chosen as a name as many of their traditional garments were sold for traditional weddings. Makotis specialises in the supply of South African “shweshwe” fabric which is a South African produced material which is instantly recognisable by its kaleidoscopic colours and funky geometric patterns which dominate the designs.
I love how colourful and funky they are! They are also so versatile, that the fabric can be used for fashion and for home products. I’ve seen couches upholstered in the fabrics, pillowcases and clothing.
AN ESSENTIAL ITEM WOMEN MUST HAVE IN THEIR WARDROBE?
In Africa, every women needs to have a colourful dress made with african fabrics for a traditional function, be it a wedding, or other ceremony. It emphasises the beauty of the culture and with modern designs made to fit each curve it really makes women feel confident in their skin.
Our current collection was actually customer inspired. We offer a bespoke designing service where customers bring in their own designs and we manufacture it for them. We have creative customers that we find ourselves inspired by their designs but we always finish with a Makoti finish to give it a range of design.
WHAT IS YOUR GOAL FOR MAKOTIS?
In the short term, we’d love to expand across South Africa and across Africa.
DO YOU GO TO ANY CELEBRITIES FOR INSPIRATION?
Not really, we instead look at social media to see what people are wearing.
Sometimes they happen to be celebrities but most of the time its people like you with a considerable following who help us identify what interests people.