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Zola's brand is hip happening

By unknown | Nov 09, 2006 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Amanda Ngudle

In an election for the most authentic township-influenced icon, Zola Dlamini would win by a landslide. Unlike his peers, who thrive on self-marketing their so-called township roots, Dlamini lives his talk.

It is amazing how this youngster, with a business acumen that would shame most BEE honchos, continues to captivate the public with each new venture.

One of Dlamini's latest is the Zola 7 range, which he launched late last year and to which he has added Is'khokho, a clothing range for kids that has had a magic-wand influence on his fashion business.

Dlamini sees fashion as a lifelong affair with a brand and he wants that relationship between children and his brand.

"I completely refrain from my clothing range being associated with a certain fashion statement. I am more interested in the range being a way of life," he said.

"I have certain items in my cupboard that I simply cannot live without because they are the same items that my mother used to buy for me at Christmas time when I was younger and they have become a part of my life," he said.

He finds it hard to divorce the fusion of businessman and daddy.

"There is nothing cuter than seeing a 35-year-old dress identically to his four-year-old son as they 'floss' at the car wash.

"This is the only time when we refuse to be individuals. Father and son have a constitutional right to look alike - it's a boy thing."

Dlamini has a special affinity for children and he seems to believe that kids are adults in small form.

"Don't you think that young people today have the same buying power as tomorrow's varsity students and working class? If you invest in them financially and instil in them self-importance and values, then you have a friendship and a clientele for life," he said.

Continuing a culture he started, Dlamini makes T-shirts, takkies, caps and jeans priced between R60 and R160 - affordable to even the lowest income earners.


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