Eboka aims to im­pact the fash­ion world from an African ad­dress

Sowetan - - Lifestyle - By Moipone Male­fane

Any dis­cern­ing fash­ion­ista should visit the newly launched Eboka House in Sand­ton.

It is an ex­quis­ite fash­ion house and stu­dio which is tai­lor made for Fred Eboka’s clients.

Ar­riv­ing at the stu­dio on 92nd on 11th street in Park­more, you are greeted by beau­ti­fully dis­played dresses.

“You have to dis­play clothes that will make cus­tomers want to buy,” Eboka says.

He ex­plains that af­ter he bought the house, he broke down the old struc­ture and built a new house to fit his new ven­ture.

The fash­ion house is an in­ti­mate way for Eboka to con­tinue of­fer­ing personalised ser­vices to his exclusive clien­tele.

Eboka ser­vices mostly the rich and fa­mous. His ma­ture and so­phis­ti­cated clien­tele has been said to in­clude first ladies, CEOs and mem­bers of par­lia­ment.

He ex­plains that he moved from Rose­bank be­cause Sand­ton is the fi­nan­cial cap­i­tal of Africa.

“Al­ready I have clients from all over the world. Now I want to glob­alise my brand.

“I am go­ing to bring the world to Africa,” he says.

Eboka moved to South Africa in 1992 af­ter study­ing and start­ing his busi­ness in Amer­ica.

He re­calls that dur­ing the pres­i­dency of Nel­son Man­dela, he used to be in­vited to all state func­tions and he dressed most of the par­lia­men­tar­i­ans.

He says what he is do­ing is to give fash­ion in Africa a solid foun­da­tion.

“I am not do­ing it for me but for us, all de­sign­ers. I want to men­tor more young de­sign­ers.

“If there is no struc­ture, no ad­dress, the busi­ness can­not grow and can­not be recog­nised,” he says.

He ex­plains that most of his clients have been with him for as long as he can re­mem­ber, hence the fit­tings of the house has to suit their needs.

“I have a lounge where clients can have drinks af­ter con­sul­ta­tion. They can sit there for in­for­mal meet­ings oth­er­wise I have a board­room for pri­vacy,” he says.

He says his clients are busy peo­ple and his stu­dio com­ple­ments their life­styles.

“I am do­ing it the way it is done in cities like Lon­don, Paris... pro­vid­ing them with a seam­less ser­vice.”

Another thing he has added are show­ers. If clients are col­lect­ing their clothes, and they are run­ning late, they can just take a shower, change clothes and be on the move.

Eboka House has a men’s bou­tique but most of their clients are women.

Eboka de­scribes his work as artis­tic. “Every dress has an artis­tic ex­pres­sion. No dress is like another one.”

He says he sources his ma­te­rial mostly from Paris but now he has an agent in Dubai who sources ma­te­rial for him while he also uses hand­made African fab­rics.

“What mo­ti­vated me is my trav­els. I re­alised that our in­dus­try in Africa will not change un­less we in­vest in what we do.”

/ VELI NH­LAPO

Fred Eboka has launched Eboka House in Sand­ton so he can con­tinue of­fer­ing personalised ser­vices.

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