In a quest to forge closer business links between India and South Africa in the fashion world, enterprising Johannesburg advocate Kameshni Pillay is setting up the first Shakti Concept Store & Global Desi in Johannesburg. Pillay, who is a member of the Duma Nokwe Group of Advocates, launched the Shakti Concept Store & Global Desi in Randburg, Johannesburg on March 2nd, 2012.
“It is an attempt to bring to South Africa what is new, fresh and trendy in India,” she says. Shakti Concept Store specializes in the import of authentic and trendy Indian garments, handbags and trinkets. The emphasis is on style, authenticity and affordability with a view to bringing to ordinary South Africans the freshest yet most authentic face of India in a manner that is accessible and adaptable to the modern South African lifestyle.
“South African buyers are very particular about – Authenticity and Affordability. Through Shakti and Global Desi we hope to not only enable buyers to experience the best that India has to offer but to also have a truly memorable shopping experience,” she adds. Global Desi is leading brand from India from the designer Anita Dongre who draws inspiration from the rich variety of traditional and cultural art found in various parts of India. The Global Desi label builds on Indian folklore and folk art and stylizes it into a rich ensemble that makes it a must-have for the modern Indian woman. The collections under the Global Desi label are a rich blend of ethnicity and the contemporary style of garment design – a blend that dazzles with its splendid repertoire of prints, patterns, style and colours.
Pillay says in five years she hopes to popularize the Shakti brand across South Africa and hopes it would become synonymous with trend-setting quality and affordable Indian craft and garments. Global Desi will open branches across the country and the fashion range will feature in major chain stores. Pillay says she was inspired to enter the fashion world after travelling to India. “On our many travels to India, we have always been fascinated by the depth of India culture which is multi-faceted to say the least, mostly due to its wide variety of people, religions as well as the many languages spoken.
“We have always found it interesting that Indian culture, and fashion in particular, is so easily transplanted into our lives as ordinary South Africans. Some say that this is directly attributable to the Indian diaspora and the combustible mix of transplanting Indian culture on South African soil. We however like to believe that the appeal of authentic and trendy Indian wear goes beyond this. In South Africa, a country which is itself an amalgam of diverse cultures, the appeal of Indian values, art and fashion is irresistible,” she adds.
Pillay says the appeal is heightened by the fact that Indian culture, a huge melting pot of creativity and vibrancy is changing, growing and adapting to the modern world. “This is appealing to South Africans because it means that we can borrow the ethnicity, creativity, flair and vibrancy from India but incorporate easily into our more westernized lifestyles. Through Shakti and Global Desi we hope to not only enable buyers to experience the best that India has to offer but to also have a truly memorable shopping experience,” she concludes.
Where: Shakti Concept Store & Global Desi is at Shop 25 HoneyCrest Shopping Centre in Randpark Ridge.