For most people, one’s heritage is something that is worn on the clothes of one’s heart. For Ayanda Dube, however, it is something she wears on her sleeve.
Ayanda is the founder of Imveli Designs, a thriving Cape Town based clothing brand that produces original Xhosa attire with a contemporary twist.
2015 marked the start of the Imveli Designs story. Brimming with ideas, whenever Ayanda found the time, she would transfer them onto the pages of her sketch pad.
She had always been inspired by Xhosa Culture. Coupled with an eagerness to try new things, she decided one month end to visit a fabric store. She walked out with a cutting of uMbaco fabric and some leather pieces, and began working on a design for herself. As any successful entrepreneur will tell you, trial and error is part of the game. For Ayanda, this occurred with her first design. All went smoothly until she placed her beautiful garment in the wash, only to find that the leather was pulling at the seams.
By all accounts, the leather was out. But she continued using uMbaco, and added Shweshwe to the fold. This new combination caught the attention of those around her, and soon she was receiving orders.
As time went on, interest in her designs grew more and more, and Ayanda decided to register the brand. Originally, she had wanted to call it ‘iNcubeko’ but this was turned down after some back and forth. Imveli was approved in early 2016.
“Imveli Designs aims to cater not just for South Africans, but for people from all over the world. Because of the colours we use, people from many different cultures can relate. It is for people who want to look stylish and unique every day without having to be too conservative, but rather trendy and proud to show off their heritage.”
Ayanda’s vibrant and trendy creations can be viewed and ordered via the Imveli Designs Facebook Page