Tshepo Jeans founder on launching a women's range - 'We went on a journey to create the best jeans for women'

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Tshepo Jeans
Tshepo Jeans
Supplied by Tshepo Jeans
  • South Africa's premium denim brand Tshepo Jeans has expanded its offering.
  • Tshepo Jeans now has a women's range that caters to different shapes and sizes.
  • The founder of the brand lets us in on what the product range consists of and what clients can expect.

South Africa’s premium denim brand has created a range that caters to women.

Launched in 2015 by Tshepo Mohlala, the Tshepo Jeans brand started off as a strictly bespoke denim brand that catered mostly to men, but with the most important women in his life at the heart of his collections. Years later, the brand has grown into what the founder describes as “a storytelling platform that’s inspired by stories and exists to help people create beautiful moments”, in whatever areas of society they exist within - be it doctor, nurse, designer, or CEO.

“For us, the intention was to create everyday practicality and lifestyle functionality,” says Tshepo.

Another tenet of the brand is “people before the product,” which aims to be sustainable not only on the outside but inside too, by hiring people who live in the Bertrams community, where the Tshepo Jeans atelier is, and upskilling them internally to create the jeans. In addition to that, the brand also believes in upcycling by using off-cuts to make new fabric and thread.

READ MORE | Sindiso Khumalo, Tshepo Jeans and 8 other sustainable fashion brands you can shop

In its expansion, Tshepo Jeans has also ventured into women’s clothing, making the brand inclusive after multiple requests from women customers and prospective clients who would request a women’s range. Well, Tshepo has heeded the call.

He speaks to TRUELOVE about the women’s range, what it consists of and how it came about.

“At Tshepo, we’ve never successfully launched women’s products. For a lot of people, the Tshepo brand has been very 'macho' and very 'masculine' and it was done intentionally so. We wanted to find the best pair of jeans first and then with time over the years, women started coming in and we started making bespoke jeans for them eventually. We found a pattern that could work for women across the board because, unfortunately, not everyone is the same. There are women with hips and tiny waists and vice versa,” he says.

Tshepo Jeans
Tshepo Jeans
Tshepo Jeans
Tshepo Jeans
Tshepo Jeans
Tshepo Jeans

“So, we went on this journey with our partners in Mauritius so that we could create a pair of jeans that could fit the majority of our South African ladies and the majority of women all over the world because I believe that women all over the world have the same issues. So, our approach was to find the best fabric and the best fit that could work for everyday functionality that women could wear to work or to a party and that’s the journey we embarked on,” he adds.

READ MORE | Tshepo Mashego on dressing South Africa's elite - 'A suit is an investment'

In the women’s product range, Tshepo says they currently have the Mdantsane denim dress, Tshepo logo and graphic t-shirts, kimono, logo hoodies and sweaters, coats, oversized t-shirts that double as t-shirt dresses, loose fit dress and various types of jeans exclusive to the Tshepo brand. The brand also plans to introduce skirts, mini-skirts, two-piece denim sets and coats but with intentions to further extend the range.

“We also have to complete our story from just jeans to socks, to underwear, to jackets, to eyewear, to fragrances and jewellery - so that’s where the brand is going,” he says.

When you have your eye on a clothing item, just before buying it, you imagine yourself wearing it to a dinner party, a wedding or to work. Tshepo says the Tshepo woman is a go-getter who could either be from Tsakane or one who has spent her whole life in Sandton.

“Over the years, what I’ve realised living in the world of technology, living in the social media and the digital world, I’ve learnt that Tshepo is not just targeted to a certain demographic or geographic area, it’s targeting a type of mindset based on psychographics. Tshepo customers are people who behave a certain way. They believe in themselves, they work hard, they push beyond measure, they make things work and they come up with solutions,” he explains.

With the brand typically being known for its ready-to-wear men’s jeans, women’s jeans are now no longer only bespoke but customers can shop ready-to-wear women’s jeans, among other items, in sizes 24 to 40. Products in the collection range from R700 to R3000.

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