She was running a dressmaking business when Covid-19 hit. The president announced the first hard lockdown and the seamstress from Soweto’s Protea Glen suddenly had to make another plan for survival as it became clear nobody would be ordering clothes anytime soon.
“All my orders were for matric dances, big events like the Durban July, weddings and birthdays,” Sindile Ramabele told Drum last year.
“My business suffered immensely. I had to return deposits that were given for orders, some which I had already used to purchase fabric.”
She got thinking, got creative, and put her R50 0000 savings to good use by starting a sneaker brand, Vexx Footwear.
“I wanted to do something within the fashion industry, but something that didn’t require me to take people's measurements and have consultations. The shoes would be ready to wear – all I needed was sizes,” she says.
Slindile’s Vexx Footwear is just one of many proudly South African sneakers that can compete on an equal footing with international brands in terms of design, comfort and quality.
Here are 10 more local sneaker brands Drum is loving.