Mother and son inspire through fashion

2018-03-14 06:00

ASPARK that began five years ago has finally become a flame with Pietermaritzburg local Ryan McKenzie looking set to launch his new clothing brand Espoire on March 31.

Down and out after dropping out of Varsity College and not being able to find a job after two months, McKenzie credits his inspiration for creating his own clothing line to a bumper sticker that he happened to see on a car when he was driving, which gave him hope.

“It’s been a long and tough journey with trying to get sponsors and exposure, but ever since that day, I have pushed and finally this year we were able to bring this idea to life,” said McKenzie.

McKenzie works with his mother Sharon from their home, with Sharon doing the sewing and knitting while McKenzie creates the designs along with the cutting of the materials.

The brand name Espoire means “hope” in French and McKenzie is hoping his clothing will bring about hope for the people of Pietermaritzburg and the world over.

“I want to inspire others, I want to help promote growth among the youth as well, and I hope that my brand can do this by expanding and being able to teach and employ others,” said McKenzie.

Sharon, whose designs are modern and trendy, said that she learnt how to knit and sew growing up and never had any professional assistant, which you can hardly tell by the look of the quality outfits made by McKenzie and herself.

This year marked Espoire’s first appearance on the market at Alexandra Park, where a pop-up shop was made available to the public, resulting in an overwhelming response from the public.

“We sold a lot of clothing and the sales of our products were very good. It was all-in-all a great response,” beamed McKenzie.

With hoodies, shirts, caps and dresses included in the range of clothing by Espoire, the brand will be launched officially on March 31 at 43 Boom Street.

“We are very excited. Our goal is to one day be up there with all the big name brands in the world someday,” said McKenzie.

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