For women with style

Rubicon is synonymous with a particularly pure and understated type of fashion. The line has burgeoned since exhibiting at the Sanlam Fashion Week in 2005.

Rubicon is synonymous with a particularly pure and understated type of fashion. The line has burgeoned since exhibiting at the Sanlam Fashion Week in 2005.

The look that started out as the girl-next-door Afro-chic has transformed into stunning, memorable outfits that are worth a second glance. Rubicon merits red carpet treatment.

Established by Hangwani Nengovhela in 2002, Rubicon received acclaim when it exhibited at the Sanlam Fashion Week.

At the time one fashion critic said: "Rubicon mirrors the interests and experiences of the designers and each collection tells a story.

"The clothing provoke interaction with the wearer and the garments never struggle with the body's shape."

Nengovhela, who holds a BCom Marketing degree, has achieved all this without any formal fashion design training.

She was beguiled by fashion from a young age. Her exposure to design sparked a passion for fashion that has haunted her throughout her adult life. While working in marketing and public relations, she pursued her passion and developed her own label.

"I grew up surrounded by threads and machines," she recalls. " I was interested in fashion and clothing from a very early age. Colour and fabric inspired me. I would see these elements and visualise what I wanted to create. It was an instant process.

"Though my mother and grandmother were academics, they were very much into sewing. They transferred the skill to me."

Nengovhela recently partnered with Raymond Matukane, a fashion designer who studied at the Tshwane University of Technology.

Rubicon is recognised for its fresh, flawless cuts and elegant tailoring.

Nengovhela says: "We design for people who like to stand out in a crowd. Everything we make is bold and unusual, yet girlie. Our teams and associates bring together a mix of expertise from design, branding, marketing, communication, public relations, event management, consumer research and management consultancy, thus ensuring more value in the design."

Rubicon captures a balance between fashion and functionality, creating classical, wearable clothing season after season. It frequently uses ethnic themes as well as shy colours contrasted with black.

Nengovhela and Matukane care more about the quality of their lines than about slavishly following trends.

Rubicon also makes corporate clothing, protective clothing and promotional material.

Nengovhela says the line is inspired by liberated women who express themselves elegantly in classical designs.

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