They were one of the first local brands to make South African streetwear culture popular post-Apartheid.
The iconic and proudly South African brand made Pantsula culture popular through their trendy fashion.
Loxion Kulca founders Sechaba Mogale, Brian Abrahams and the late Mzwandile ‘Wandi’ Nzimande were some of the pioneers of Mzansi streetwear. All the big South African stars including Kwaito artists endorsed the brand and gave it their stamp of approval.
But it has not been an easy journey, business was rocky and for a few years, their brand struggled to stay afloat.
In 2019, they celebrated 20 Years Of Loxion Kulca at SA Fashion Week showcasing their Spring/Summer, which was a great hit.
In 2019 while making plans and celebrating, the brand lost Wandi who was the brains and creativity behind Loxion Kulca. Kaya 959 where he was a resident DJ, announced his passing in January.
"It is with great difficulty that we share the news of Mzwandile Nzimande's passing earlier today, as confirmed by his family. DJ 1D, as he was affectionately known, was the pioneering co-founder of the iconic streetwear brand - Loxion Kulca, a storyteller and a highly accomplished figure in the South African music scene.”
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Wandi’s death came before sealing a deal between PEP stores and Loxion Kulca. With Wandi having passed on, Loxion Kulca has carried on his vision and launched their collection. It is available at more than 1000 PEP stores across the country.
The brand has been left in the capable hands of creative director Ole Ledimo and managing GM Gideon Abrahams.
Ole Ledimo says, “The collaboration was Wandile’s vision and dream and we are happy to have been able to see it through."
“He was the one talking and negotiating with PEP and had the vision to make the clothes easily accessible for our clients. When he passed, it took time for everyone to welcome this new face, but we all understood Wandi’s dream and the brands' vision. Having worked with him for so long, we had the same values,” he says.
“This is to ensure that our loyal and remarkable customers never have to struggle to find our brand and it is through their support that we have managed to find a home at PEP. We believe in the growth of Loxion Kulca and we are looking forward to achieving bigger milestones.”
When they started the brand in 1999, it was just four staff members in total.
“We outsourced manufacturers, we found a clothing or a footwear manufacturer and we would utilise their expertise and their import licenses,” Ole recalls.
“We then went out and sold that to separate retailers. What we have done now is we have gone directly to retailers, who have big buying powers and put together the range with them, so it becomes more comprehensive and cost-effective.”
In the 22 years of existence, they have made a few mistakes which they have learned from and plan to do things differently.
"In hindsight, the most important mistake was not believing in ourselves,” Ole says. “We also didn’t align well with our chosen retailers and distributors. We relied on them to assist with the brand and didn’t consider that there wasn’t proper brand synergy and alignment, which is important for a brand like Loxion Kulca.
"And to provide our customers with an authentic experience we needed to be more accessible and visible this is why the partnership with PEP makes so much sense, it's seamless and our audience is aligned they have a massive footprint and are positioned exactly where our core customers are. It’s also accessible and affordable, which is exactly Wandi's ultimate wish."