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A South African Shopping Site Where Artisans and Community Meet

  • November 25, 2021

Mr. Mohlala has expanded since arriving three years ago and now has an almost 3,500-square-foot site where he both sells and manufactures; he brought tutors from Amsterdam’s Jean School, a denim specialist training facility, down to teach his seamstresses key skills. Some of his best sellers include dark indigo denim Anansi jeans for 3,500 rand (about $233), and blue-black slim-fit ones, a style known as Takalani, at 1,800 rand; he also produces a variety of graphic T-shirts for 600 rand each.

Although Victoria Yards has attracted artisans for its workshop spaces, it is also an excellent place to shop. Within the site, small chalkboards dot the paths between the brick buildings, each promoting one of the tenants like signage in a mall. Oscar Ncube, 37, is another designer based here; he runs Chiefs of Angels, which is known for its leather jackets and T-shirts. Mr. Ncube upcycles secondhand clothing, much of it imported from Europe, refashioning it as the basis for some of his designs, some of which celebrate bands like Nirvana and Led Zeppelin. Best-selling styles include his Aretha and Core Joplin jackets, both 3,679 rand.

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