In 2012 we secured the license for Scotch & Soda, initially through our Infinite 60 stores and later opened stand-alone stores across SA. We now have six stores and a growing online business. The business as a whole is growing nicely. I think it has been well received in SA and with a new flagship store opening in Sandton in August, and another in Cape Town later in the year, I believe we will continue to impress.
Denim has always been at the forefront of our business, having worked with brands such as Blue Blood, G-Star and Nudie Jeans throughout the years. It is such a big part of South African fashion culture and a category that we are very passionate about. This brings us to the Dutch denim brand — Denham. We have two stores now, one in Hyde Park and one in the V&A Waterfront. It is quite a niche and relatively new, but I think we’re setting a good foundation to build it into a great brand over the next few years.
Then there is Naked Coffee — what started as a passion project, has taken on a very exciting life of its own. All I can say is ... watch the space!
What is planned for the future?
Our next project is to take the Naked concept abroad — we’re trying to take it to London. In the immediate future, we are continuing to grow Scotch aggressively with two new stores in the works. We have got a lot of room to grow in this market. We are also planning to launch Denham online in the summer.
How has being in the fashion industry influenced you?
That’s where I fell in love with “the detail”, I have always worked with high-end brands and you can just see the attention to detail that goes into every garment. Not even just from the design process, but from the inspiration to the collection — there’s so much within fashion and design, so much focus and energy put into every single collection.
These brands have to push out four collections a year and it’s an impressive process to witness. Every season is an incredible journey, I have to sit back and actually appreciate how much work goes in — from the conceptualisation to the design process, to the manufacturing process, to the selling process, and then finally to get it into stores. That journey has taught me a lot about business, and it’s helped us to launch a brand like Naked, it had a huge impact on the way that we approach the naked coffee business.