South African label Imprint’s latest spring/summer offering is like a collection of memories. Called Imvelaphi – The Home Coming, it’s a celebration of the brand going right back to the beginning. And it’s the perfect time to look back, as the brand makes the big move to Johannesburg.
Imprint has a very clear and singular ethos: ‘Leave a mark’. And it does so indelibly and elegantly. For spring/summer Imprint has journeyed back to the beginning; to its very first collections, most significantly the following ones: Our Roots, Geometry & Rock ’n Roll and Harbouring Hope.
‘The collection was a further display of where the brand began, which was with commercial prints and colour,’ says owner and designer Mzukisi Mbane. ‘And how it grew to become a brand which adopted the use of print as a storytelling tool; a brand that has grown into redefining our print identity through creating our own print.’
This show was the last Imprint will have before its move to Johannesburg. ‘This is for a variety of reasons,’ explains Mzukisi. ‘We are opening a new store in Joburg and we really don’t have a buying market in Cape Town, so it doesn’t make sense for us to keep showing in Cape Town. Cape Town fashion weeks never have the media we need, they never have the right market in attendance and it’s really just an expensive exercise that doesn’t give you anything. Hence the bold decision to rather invest in something that will give us some measurable return on investment.’
Imprint’s biggest market is already in Johannesburg – 80% of their monthly sales are with Joburg-based clients, while only 15% can be allotted to those based in other provinces and only 5% is the Cape Town-based client. ‘It then doesn’t make sense to be away from a market that is giving us the financial support we need,’ says Mzukisi.
The new Imprint store at Victoria Yards in Johannesburg will be having a show to launch and officially open on 28 September. The event will be exclusive to Imprint’s clients, media, buyers and celebrities with a surprise guest star performing at the runway show.