Meet Anisa Mpungwe


YOU’s online lifestyle shop Spree recently launched a feature called Designer Spotlight , where they pay attention to local designers by profiling them and selling and showing off their work. Part of this exposure entails recorded YouTube interviews with the designers, called Spree Conversations. I recently attended the Spree Conversation with Anisa Mpungwe of Loin Cloth And Ashes.

Anisa and I at Spree Conversations.

Anisa on her customers

They are people who like African prints, they are very flashy and shiny – the Johannesburg customer, that is. She still finds the Cape Town customer a challenge and is trying to figure them out – but “they’re definitely very street, cool and urban edgy”.

On her brand

Structure is an important feature of her pieces. She is scared by drape! For a long time she paid more attention to what her customers wanted than to what comes naturally to her and she felt she lost her “Anisa magic”. “With my new collection I feel like I’m heading back towards ‘me’. I am a geometric kind of girl.”

On her prints

She buys her fabric at a huge market in her home town, Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. It takes her about three days to select the fabrics she wants.

On her creative process

She says she’s a Gemini so she is very sensitive to things around her. She calls herself a “UN baby” as she arrived in SA as member of a diplomatic household. She loves travelling and experiencing different cultures. While she works, she listens to music – her favourite singers are M.I.A. and Santigold.

On her new collection

She was looking for comfort and cool. She enjoyed designing it more than before because it represented what she was feeling.

On the future

She wants to make it in South Africa first before going international: “If I’m good here, I’ll be good there.”

On her hardest struggle from day to day

“To be able to manage everything, it’s like a human baby! Management is tough but my dad gave me the advice to delegate more.”

Her best fashion tips

  • Wearing the right size
  • Comfort is key

It was great meeting Anisa. She’s certainly a designer to watch out for! Here’s one of my favourites from her new collection: - Wagheeba January

Wagheeba January blogs for YOU on fashion. Also check out Wagheeba's own blog.

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