Era sunglasses. Picture: Supplied.
Era sunglasses. Picture: Supplied.

Inside the Soko District, Joburg’s newest cool scene

By Thobile Mazibuko Time of article published Aug 20, 2021

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Ever since Covid-19 took over our lives, changing our behaviour and lives, many people have resorted to online shopping. And those who still go to brick-and-mortar shops, convenience is key - many prefer having different brands in one store to make their shopping experience quick and easy.

As such, Soko District has been launched. It’s a platform that enables purpose-driven local brands to create meaningful connections with their customers under one roof. It’s at the Rosebank Mall.

The word “soko” is Swahili for “market”, and a market is something driven by the collective art of buying and selling goods in an open space.

Soko District has over 20 local brands like the environmentally friendly Nu Nues’ which focuses on classic baby and toddler-wear that are locally made using natural textiles and is plastic-free.

There is also Annapatat Kids, a brand that truly lives its ethos: “In a world where you can shop anywhere, shop local”. Founded and built on a mutual love for leather shared by husband and wife Jean and Charné Abrie, Oliver Vagary produces uniquely handcrafted leather products in a classic style with a touch of elegance and sophistication.

Rialheim ceramic studio by Rial Visagie specialises in shapes and glazing techniques inspired by Africa’s diverse cultures and beauty. The brand also collaborated with Flight, a premium coffee shop that serves its beverages in Rialheim ceramics.

Cookies from Flight Coffee. Picture: Supplied.

For the fashionistas, Mahone The Quiet Junkie manufactures local clothing intending to challenge African fashion aesthetics through a fusion of modern aesthetics and African-inspired elements.

Meanwhile, MOS Wear is a movement with global culture yet maintaining a Native foundation.

For modern women, Kayla Stam has end garments and ready-to-wear, office, and occasion wear.

KoiKoi Clothing focuses on unique and vibrant African Kikoy fabric for a range of “anywhere leisure wear“. The fabric they use is sustainably woven in the heart of Kenya and produced locally in Cape Town.

Danielle Frylinck and her team create timeless, classic pieces handmade in South Africa by serial collaborators and creative entrepreneurs.

Accessories by Danielle Frylinck. Picture: Supplied.

Era by DJ Zinhle, a timeless fashion-accessory brand, is also available at Soko District.

Era sunglasses. Picture: Supplied.

Local clothing brand Mpahla Sneaker & Apparel is also on board with its unisex, stylish sneakers and apparel.

Taking pride in African print is Ledikana, a brand specialising in the manufacturing of contemporary African garments and accessories. All their products are locally made and culturally inspired by empowering and developing the skills of women across South Africa.

And for the foodies, Lebo Got Eats is there to tickle your taste buds with gourmet meals. For those with a sweet tooth, The Lollipop League is available with its handmade range of lollipops. They have more than 30 flavours made from quality ingredients sourced from all over the world, including their garden.

Darling Sweet produces the most delectable old-fashioned handcrafted toffees using the centuries-old art of toffee making. Meanwhile, Just Rrraw Chocolate’s also offers craft chocolate that is organic and vegan.

Toffees by Darling Sweet. Picture: Supplied.

Graze is where you will find a no gluten and no refined sugar range of plant-based jars of various types of butter. The Chairman Home furniture company offers home decor.

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