Things I underestimated about Fashion District

FKJohannesburg is a city of gold in many respects, from its early beginnings of being a mining town to now being South Africa’s economic hub.

Having not lived in Johannesburg for long, the fashion areas people seem to hold in high esteem in the city are usually Hyde Park in Sandton, Parkhurst with its long string of high-end boutiques, Rosebank Mall, Maboneng and the likes.

I have spent a lot of time in Braamfontein since my arrival in the city and slowly but surely I’ve been going through hoops to try get a taste of the Sandtons, the Parkhursts, the Rosebanks. Little did I know that I was over looking probably one of the richest fashion areas in Joburg – the Fashion District.

The CBD previously seen as run down and now being ‘refubished’ is not what you see on TV or at the various fashion weeks. What many haven’t yet realised is that this district is actually a gold mine.

I’ve recently received the opportunity to go explore the Fashion District, right at the heart of Jozi. What I appreciated most from the stores in this area is that, whether its food, clothes or jewellery, you will find items that are made in Africa by African people.

This area is the space of the original products. From authentic Ghanaian fabric,  to AmaXhosa jewellery, Ethiopian baskets and Basotho blankets – it can all be found here. A perfect hub of African trading and African retail in its truest form. The unfortunate part is that because of this very reason people don’t value the businesses in this area.

It’s a common trend in South Africa where people don’t value their own, we are always looking to America and Europe as the markers of what is fashionable and what is valuable. We often fail to appreciate what is often right noses and embrace that.

So I have made it my mission to marinate myself in the Fashion District of Jozi that is full of life, knowledge and African luxury.

Let me know in the comments if you know of any brilliant underrated fashion places in the comments. Also feel free to like and share this post 🙂

Fashionably smart with DIY denim boots

Denim jeans have been around for a long time and have never really gone out of fashion. DIY fashion on the internet is nothing new either. But when these two come together magic happens. I’m talking disrupting the class divide and saving the natural environment kind of magic. Let me explain.

This July we saw Kim Kardashian flaunt reportedly Yeezy denim boots on Instagram. Later we saw her in a denim choker. While she was not the inventor, thanks to her 85 million followers and fashion reporters, these fashion pieces that looked like cut up jeans started trending. Inspired by fellow YouTuber Collette Emily, Shay Cherise (thenuvogue) started creating DIY versions of these Yeezy boots which went viral.

I recently went to the Hamptons and had so much fun! All the pics are up on my app!

A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Jul 26, 2016 at 12:56pm PDT

Class divide

Despite the fact that Kanye publicly announced that he wanted his boots to be accessible to everyone, that’s clearly not the case. If Yeezys ever do make it to South Africa they come in limited edition. Otherwise, if you’re shopping with rands on eBay thigh high Yeezys can cost you more than R23 000. Which is more expensive than their initial price. In Kanye’s words, people could spend that money on their families rather.

So even before the denim thigh high boots are released you probably already know if you won’t afford them, so why not do it yourself right? Since these DIY denim boots trended on Instagram there have been various tutorials on how to make them yourself on YouTube. Some of these YouTubers recycle old jean or boots that would have otherwise been thrown away.

Environmental impact

Levi’s research showed that one pair of their 501 jeans required about 3482 litres of water and 400 megajoules of energy to make while releasing 32 kg of carbon dioxide. That’s only one pair. In the countries where jeans are often manufactured rivers turn blue where water is expelled and the land is made sterile from the chemicals used to style particularly distressed jeans. While denim jeans are primarily made out of cotton, the chemicals added to the pieces make it hard for the earth to break down the material once it reaches the end of its life cycle in landfills.

So what can we do to help? Save yourself some money and recycle your denim and other non-biodegradable materials. You can still look trendy while being socially and environmentally conscious.

Feel free to like, comment or share this post 🙂